Planning permission granted by Council without applying its own planning policy

Posted: 30/05/2012

The Local Government Ombudsman discovered that planning permission was granted, allowing extensions to be built on two terraced houses without Bolton Metropolitan Council applying their own planning policies.

The planning permission was not granted by a junior planning officer, but by senior officers. The planning manager recommended permission to be granted for the two extensions because he believed ‘that was what some councillors wanted’, which meant the council’s policies were over looked.

Only one of the extensions has been built but has caused the neighbouring property daylight problems. The extension is 2 storeys high and 4 meters long and practically fills the back yard which blocks the sunlight from the neighbouring home and small garden. The Ombudsman recommended that Bolton Metropolitan Council compensates the householder £31,500.

If the other extension is built, it will mean the neighbouring householder will have a single story brick wall, angling 20 degrees which will cut off the view from the kitchen window. The Ombudsman recommends the council to revoke the planning permission but if they decide not to, the council should fund the move of the kitchen window and any other costs encountered.

The Local Government Ombudsman concluded the investigated by announcing, ‘The Council should ensure that all officers and councillors are aware of the public law principles that apply to decisions by public authorities and that its officers, in particular its planning officers, are able to give advice in accordance with their professional opinions and judgements.’

Why do you think council’s senior officers decided to grant planning permission without following its own planning policies?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments planning permission, council, extensions, property
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