Below are some examples of where the benefits of membership in relation to a single application can justify the annual cost of membership:
Example for Planning Consultants:
- Case: Your client wishes to erect a large (e.g. 50m2) outbuilding to provide a specialist gym facility for their disabled son. The local authority has stated that such an outbuilding would not be permitted development, on the basis that its footprint would exceed what could be classed as “incidental" to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse. You use the Part 1 of the GPDO - INCIDENTAL Appeal Decisions document on the Planning Jungle website to find an example of an almost identical situation (reference APP/T5150/X/10/2143084) where an Inspector concluded that such an outbuilding would be permitted development. You present this appeal decision to the local authority, who then decide to issue a certificate of lawfulness.
- Result: Your membership to the Planning Jungle website has prevented the potential failure of this project, and has avoided the potential loss of your client to another planning consultant.
Example for Local Authorities:
- Case: You receive an application for an outbuilding with a mansard / crown type roof (i.e. a roof with a flat area in the centre and pitches at the sides). The outbuilding would be situated more than 2m away from the boundaries and would have a maximum height of 4m. The application is accompanied by an appeal decision (reference APP/R5510/X/10/2135164) in which the Inspector concluded that this would be permitted development. You look in the MHCLG "Technical Guidance" document, and can find no information relating to this particular situation. However, you then use the Part 1 of the GPDO - GENERAL Appeal Decisions document on the Planning Jungle website to look up the conclusion of the above appeal decision, and find that it has been contradicted by five other appeal decisions. You refuse the application, referring to these four other appeal decisions, and the agent decides not to submit an appeal.
- Result: Your membership to the Planning Jungle website has prevented your local authority from issuing an incorrect decision, and has avoided the potential costs of dealing with the consequences of such an incorrect decision (e.g. complaints from neighbouring residents, ombudsman, judicial review, etc).
Example for Planning Consultants AND Local Authorities:
- Case: In the appeal decision APP/X2220/X/11/2144338, the applicant proposed the installation of solar panels on the front roof slope of their house, which is situated within a conservation area. The application was submitted in November 2010, more than 2 years after Part 40 Class A was amended to remove the direct restriction against such works. In the refusal of the application, and in the dismissal of the subsequent appeal, it appears that neither the planning consultant, nor the local authority, nor the Inspector, was aware of the current up-to-date version of the legislation. Indeed, the local authority's decision notice and the Inspector's decision notice both referred to the superseded part of the legislation as the sole reason for refusing the application.
- Result: In the above situation, the planning consultant could have potentially lost their client, the local authority left themselves open to a potential application for costs, and the Inspector left himself open to a potential application for judicial review. All of these potential costs could have been easily avoided if any of the parties had used the GPDO 1995 (Consolidated) document on the Planning Jungle website, which clearly shows exactly how and when the legislation has been amended.