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Will Common Sense Prevail?

Tim Hodges, Acquisitions Director of the Vincit Group, comments

We recently put in a planning application for a hip to gable on a flat we own to create a second bedroom. It was refused based on their reluctance to allow this on end of terrace buildings with flats. Even though there are houses with loft conversions with a hip to gable extension it seemed an odd stance to take when the area is demanding for two bed flats. The case officer only communicated this to us at the 11th hour, of which they were apologetic. Man-power at planning departments is obviously a concern for most boroughs but what we wish to address is how we can assist them to make the process more efficient.

We are proposing to visit the planners to make various suggestions how on future applications we can create an efficient communication channel. I appreciate in practice this maybe challenging but we will be persistent and patient. On another occasion, we had an application for an extra unit refused at the 11th hour even though we had on numerous occasions attempted to make contact to see how we could amend the proposal to meet their requirements. It turned out we were talking about taking off 1.2sqm from the new build flat and adding it to an existing unit which just meant tweaking the plans. Again, the officer was apologetic but stated he was being pressured to meet deadlines and couldn’t offer an extension. Very frustrating, but equally it does provide a forum for discussion with them to see how we can mitigate against future scenarios.

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