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 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:54 am

Health and Safety Executive have expressed interest in numerous potential violations of building rules that have come to its attention. But it has sent an email claiming to be unable to find the address of the developer`s company. This is from a No Reply address.

Meanwhile the mayor is trying to get the Home Office interested in the right to work in the UK of the foreign labourers.

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:35 pm

Chunga wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:54 am
Health and Safety Executive have expressed interest in numerous potential violations of building rules that have come to its attention. But it has sent an email claiming to be unable to find the address of the developer`s company. This is from a No Reply address.

Meanwhile the mayor is trying to get the Home Office interested in the right to work in the UK of the foreign labourers.



Breaches of H&S and immigration laws can't be ignored but their efforts would be best directed at the developer. Planning applications will be accompanied by a variety of professionals* input that will have their contact details, possibly even a planning consultant, although I find it hard to imagine a consultant who has had five identical applications rejected - to then submit a sixth.

*.............who may well turn out to be as dodgy as the developer!!
arborlad

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Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:46 am

The developer does not use professionals at all. Nor does he listen to the advice given to him by planners. Nor does he spend money on professional drawings. He simply resubmits identical drawings, which have many conflicting measurements. One even has a 4ft 6 tall man designed to make the existing building appear higher than it is.

This is precisely the situation that Section 70(A) of the Town and Country Planning Act was introduced to prevent. But the planners are handicapped by their ignorance of the law against multiple, identical applications. Circular states 08/2005 that the reason why this discretion had been given to councils was "only where they believe that the applicant is trying to wear down opposition by submitting repeated applications. If an application has been revised in a genuine attempt to take account of objections to an earlier proposal, the local planning authority should determine it.”

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:58 am

Chunga wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:46 am
The developer does not use professionals at all. Nor does he listen to the advice given to him by planners. Nor does he spend money on professional drawings. He simply resubmits identical drawings, which have many conflicting measurements. One even has a 4ft 6 tall man designed to make the existing building appear higher than it is.

This is precisely the situation that Section 70(A) of the Town and Country Planning Act was introduced to prevent. But the planners are handicapped by their ignorance of the law against multiple, identical applications. Circular states 08/2005 that the reason why this discretion had been given to councils was "only where they believe that the applicant is trying to wear down opposition by submitting repeated applications. If an application has been revised in a genuine attempt to take account of objections to an earlier proposal, the local planning authority should determine it.”



Whatever might transpire planning wise, you have to be prepared for the situation that he might get approval for something that will damage/devalue your property. Only you can protect your own property so you have to be ready with an injunction to prevent any works he might have planned.
arborlad

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Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:36 am

Thankyou. I agree. The developer has broken many laws, relating to development and employment. He has started his development, without waiting for planning permission. He has submitted fraudulent details in his planning application and to his lender. The ward councillors and those on the borough planning committee are resolutely opposed to allowing him to develop a slum, which would not be permitted for rental under the latest additions to the Landlord and Tenant Act.

We intend to take him to Court and he is aware of that. He will no doubt find his company in liquidation fairly soon so that we cannot look forward to any compensation given how slowly the courts act.

Our solicitor now suggests that we ask him politely to let a surveyor examine his excavations which have undermined the foundations of walls belonging to three properties.

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:48 pm

Chunga wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:36 am
Our solicitor now suggests that we ask him politely to let a surveyor examine his excavations which have undermined the foundations of walls belonging to three properties.



Your solicitor seems to be following correct protocol - I doubt someone with African values will take a blind bit of notice.................only force of law will get the result that you want/need. Which law and which litigant remains to be seen.

You say three properties are affected, is it to the same extent, is there a possibility of joint action?





Chunga wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:36 am

We intend to take him to Court and he is aware of that. He will no doubt find his company in liquidation fairly soon so that we cannot look forward to any compensation given how slowly the courts act.



You need to enter this with the expectation that any money you spend will never be seen again - hopefully, in the fullness of time and a favourable result in the courts, you may see some of that money again.
arborlad

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Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:34 pm

Thank you for the helpful suggestion. The next door property is owned by a Housing Association. The 40/50 tonnes of earth excavated from a very small plot has undermined the foundations of this Victorian building. We are in contact with a surveyor for the association, who has just postponed a meeting, at which we intended to show him the photos of the excavations.

These are still continuing. If the studio is turned into a three storey house it will block the sideways view from the association`s balcony with obvious loss of light and amenity. The surveyor is more knowledgeable and carries considerably more weight with the council planners ( as he formerly worked there) than we do. But it is not easy to get him to devote any attention to the development.

On the other side there is a double block, divided into nine flats which will have its garden wall which is circa 12 foot high raised by another 6 foot, with loss of light and amenity. Some of the owners are supportive: others are absentee landlords and are hard to rouse.

We now have over 50 objections. We may be able to reclaim legal costs from the council for ignoring Section 70, which parliament clearly designed to prevent this kind of endless repetition of plans which the developer readily admits are identical.

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:15 pm

Chunga wrote:
Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:34 pm

We now have over 50 objections. We may be able to reclaim legal costs from the council for ignoring Section 70, which parliament clearly designed to prevent this kind of endless repetition of plans which the developer readily admits are identical.



Others will know better the feasibility of taking this route but I'd have to question the wisdom of it. The council have powers and resources that you don't, it may not be wise to antagonise them, when it's their actions that you need.
arborlad

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ukmicky
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by ukmicky » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:25 pm

If everyone’s walls and therefore foundation have been undermined why are you all still messing about with the council. Why have you not gained an injunction with an order to restore the lateral support of the affected properties. At the same time the court can be asked to allow access for surveyors acting on your behalf .

The court can also grant permission to serve it on the property if you can’t pin down an owner.

Your properties are at risk of collapsing if what you have said is true and if it is true and it were me I would have had a structural surveyor or party wall surveyor prepare a report the same week and the next day would have been in court gaining an injunction.


Even if you did get the council to act you should still be gaining an injunction under the partywall act in case your foundations start cracking in the future.
Last edited by ukmicky on Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ukmicky
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by ukmicky » Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:42 pm

Can we see a picture
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:52 am

ukmicky wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:25 pm
If everyone’s walls and therefore foundation have been undermined why are you all still messing about with the council. Why have you not gained an injunction with an order to restore the lateral support of the affected properties. At the same time the court can be asked to allow access for surveyors acting on your behalf .



I'd add a proviso to this, all work on the property needs to cease and only after the works have been assessed and surveyed can any sort of remedial action take place. Any attempt to backfill or consolidate materials alongside a compromised wall/s has to be very carefully considered or there is potential for further damage.
arborlad

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Chunga
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by Chunga » Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:34 am

Thank you for that good advice. We are at last getting some action from the neighbour the other side of the studio. This is a Housing Association with a four storey house with a basement. Our contact is a surveyor who used to work for the council.

He claims to have a party wall notice from the developer. He was genuinely shocked at the amount of excavation that has been done ahead of planning permission. He believes that the walls of the association house have been undermined. The hole is now 6-8 ft deeper than before.

He will use the council Enforcement powers to gain entry and assess the damage and potential risk. I understand that refilling the cavern to shore up the party walls has to be very carefully handled by professionals. The developer cannot be trusted to do this properly.

We have contacted two party wall surveyors but find it impossible to get them to do anything whatsoever. Can we rely on that association surveyor?

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:14 am

Chunga wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 9:34 am
Thank you for that good advice. We are at last getting some action from the neighbour the other side of the studio. This is a Housing Association with a four storey house with a basement. Our contact is a surveyor who used to work for the council.

He claims to have a party wall notice from the developer. He was genuinely shocked at the amount of excavation that has been done ahead of planning permission. He believes that the walls of the association house have been undermined. The hole is now 6-8 ft deeper than before.

He will use the council Enforcement powers to gain entry and assess the damage and potential risk. I understand that refilling the cavern to shore up the party walls has to be very carefully handled by professionals. The developer cannot be trusted to do this properly.

We have contacted two party wall surveyors but find it impossible to get them to do anything whatsoever. Can we rely on that association surveyor?


I'm not sure I'd use the word 'rely', but I see no reason why the HA surveyor can't act jointly for you and the HA, he will also have a headstart over any newly appointed one.
arborlad

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SwitchRich
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by SwitchRich » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:28 am

Any pictures of this would be really valuable to the forum! Can you post some?

arborlad
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Re: Development of a studio built in a garden

Post by arborlad » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:42 am

SwitchRich wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:28 am
Any pictures of this would be really valuable to the forum! Can you post some?


......................usually a good idea, but I suspect there may be third party issue here that have to be considered.
arborlad

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