Development of a studio built in a garden

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Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Fri Apr 05, 2019 6:10 am

The bank has now called in its loan. It is the second bank to do so. Both will have applied late payment penalties. Neither lend to developments. They provide bridging loans for a period of one year only, where the risk to them is much less.

The developer has published accounts for the company which he established just for this development. They are over a year late. It shows that cash reserves were then under £1,000. The developer register his planning application under a false address so that bankers are left unaware that he is breaching their loan conditions.

But how can they be so careless?

SwitchRich
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by SwitchRich » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:30 am

Thanks for the update! Has anything changed with the hole in the ground? Are works still going on or is everything frozen?

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:39 am

The only thing that has happened is that the developer has removed around 1,000 bricks. It is unclear where they have come from, but it must be from one of the walls, not facing the road. He is probably waiting for money to come through from a new bank that may not have been told the truth about what he is doing.

The Council has suspended its enforcement order and Health and Safety will not do anything unless it actually finds workers without permission to work breaking the law.

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:41 am

A start-up bank with a net worth of under £50,000 has loaned the development company money. The bank includes the words bridge in its title, which suggests that it lends for bridging purposes. The developer has applied for his seventh identical planning permission. This time the roof is to be almost entirely of glass on both the flat and the four sloped sides. It would entirely destroy what was a beautiful Victorian building in a Conservation area.

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Mon May 06, 2019 10:44 am

We have found over 50 breaches of the Council`s own planning regulations for a Conservation area, including some very serious ones relating to fire hazard. Yet the planning officer appointed to the case already tried to approve the 5th application. This is the 7th. He is now writing to neighbours telling them they have no right to object. The last application received 60 objections. Could he have been bribed? I know that this is widespread in Africa but am ignorant of UK conditions.

SwitchRich
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by SwitchRich » Tue May 07, 2019 10:43 am

The way you are painting this scenario it would seem like there is something going on. Are there any common names of councillors that seem to be "trying" to get this approved?
One thing is for sure you can't bribe everyone so the more people that know about it the better.
Do you know any of the 60 people who objected? Is it worth trying to form some sort of group (even just a facebook group) of like minded people impacted by this?
You seem to have got the gumption to come here and ask questions so could you kick it off? The more minds focused and coordinated on this will have a greater chance of success.

Have you written to your MP?

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Wed May 08, 2019 9:31 am

span wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:55 am
arborlad wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:20 am
Chunga wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:34 am
The developer is a most aggressive African with no respect for the law. He has already threatened assault and writs against the council and its staff. He has been involved in two High Court cases brought by furious lenders.


I assume his rights to be in the UK have also been investigated.
Let's not go there, eh?



Why would you say that? ...................there seems to be nothing about this individual that would make him a desirable neighbour - or citizen of the UK.

If he's also facing deportation it is going to further limit his ability to cause disruption, stress and expense to the OP and the wider community.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Sun May 12, 2019 11:57 am

Thank you for the helpful suggestions. The local MP was formerly a councilor in our ward and became Leader of the Council. He has many friends in the council and our three ward councilors are also very supportive. The case has become infamous within the council, and the elected representatives are unanimously against it.

Many of the 60 objectors are people that we have contacted through knocking on doors or meeting them when walking dogs in the local cemetery. This had become a drug market and a place where children smoked cannabis,after school, but the councilors and MP between them seem to have been able to get the Metropolitan Police to visit it on foot, leaving their squad cars.

We are hoping that they will also be able to control the planners, who never seem prepared to listen to anybody.

ukmicky
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by ukmicky » Sun May 19, 2019 6:21 pm

Chunga wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 10:44 am
We have found over 50 breaches of the Council`s own planning regulations for a Conservation area, including some very serious ones relating to fire hazard. Yet the planning officer appointed to the case already tried to approve the 5th application. This is the 7th. He is now writing to neighbours telling them they have no right to object. The last application received 60 objections. Could he have been bribed? I know that this is widespread in Africa but am ignorant of UK conditions.
It would depend on if your objections to the planning application are valid planning considerations.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Wed May 22, 2019 3:58 pm

We had a visit from one of the planners. He is a south African who has not lived in the UK for long. He did not seem to recognise the Council`s own definition of a basement. The studio is an odd building in that it was built in 1885 with a large north window and skylights as a very small thin-walled bungalow. The ground was excavated to well below street level to create a wooden gallery from which the artist could paint subjects from above. This classifies it in modern planning parlance as a basement.

London boroughs in the inner, older areas have had dreadful problems with developers who have dug out under gardens, under the pavements and streets and below existing basements. This developer now wants to increase the glass area in the roof seven-fold and to excavate a new basement under the existing studio floor. This would create a lighthouse with a dungeon below it. Quite rightly the 2018 conservation guidance for this borough has banned this practice on planning grounds. Councillors have called it a "hobbit-house".

The planners will not throw out eight identical applications because they are afraid that developers will appeal. Surely this is not what parliament intended. Still at least this planner knows a lot about Africans.





London

SwitchRich
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by SwitchRich » Thu May 23, 2019 10:37 am

Chunga wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:58 pm

The planners will not throw out eight identical applications because they are afraid that developers will appeal.
How can this be true? You surely cannot bludgeon a council with applications and win by attrition?
This would make a mockery of the whole planning process. Does anyone else not agree here?

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Sat May 25, 2019 12:46 pm

You are absolutely correct. The planning process in this London borough is a farce. Planners and lawyers employed by the Council seem to be unaware of the provisions both of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 ( which seeks to prevent repeated identical applications) and of the modifications to planning law made in 2015 ( to prevent intentional and unauthorised development).

Our advisers have pointed out this lapse to council employees but they have been ignored. Any advice on what to do will be much welcomed.


Ou

ukmicky
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by ukmicky » Thu May 30, 2019 11:48 pm

Chunga

You are aware it is possible to dig down and create a basement under permitted development rights. Even in a conservation area Planning permission may not actually be required for the basement. Light-wells will I believe require planning permission but permission is normally granted for them provided they follow the rules.

Unless that is you live in one of London boroughs that have a placed an area wide article 4 direction removing all permitted development rights for basements developments.

If you don’t live in one of those areas or the article 4 direction doesn’t cover your road or the type of basement being dug the planners have no say on the basement works.
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Chunga
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:55 am

Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:16 am

Fortunately planning rules differ even amongst neighbouring London boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea has been plagued by film stars, footballers and foreigners digging huge basements under their gardens and often the pavement. These houses almost all already have conventional basements. So it has banned further excavation, for houses that already have basements. Our borough followed suit this year.

Conservation area guidelines do not affect this. But they do ban the enormous increase in glass area in the roof necessary to bring a gloomy half light to the dungeon to be built under an existing basement. The studio is clearly a basement as it was excavated in 1885 to well below street level: from the street it appears to be a low bungalow built in a garden. There is no room for lightwells.

The plan has not been called up for the forthcoming meeting of the planning committee, despite a request from a councillor. Nobody can find out what this means. But the MP is intervening.

Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:48 pm

The Cameroon developer has put in three new planning applications. All are substantially identical to ones already rejected, apart from the number of windows.

It seems probable that his company is already bankrupt.

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