Can we stop using our narrow country lane as access to new buildings with 70 homes?

  • The layout may be closed, so residents should make noisy performances
  • Remember that board members and elected members work for residents
  • Request a meeting with the planning officer to discuss your concerns

The developer applied for permission to build 70 homes in the field at the end of my road. This it looks like the board will wave.

How can I challenge the use of this narrow suburban strip for such a large building?

How can residents challenge the use of a narrow suburban strip for such large-scale construction?

MailOnline real estate expert Myra Butterworth answers: The planning process can feel like a closed store, especially if the building has already received planning permission or is likely to be denied.

There may often be individual parties with large investments that may be reluctant to take into account the concerns of local residents and the broad attractiveness of the local area about their own financial benefits.

Residents need to work together to express their objections to the plans and make sure they put pressure on elected representatives to influence the outcome in a way that their concerns are taken into account and in line with them.

While many new homes need to be built, new sites should ideally be set up to develop communities and take advantage of their strengths.

Recent scandals, such as dangerous cladding, have shown the danger of squeezing out of every square foot of new building without enough attention from developers.

Martin Gain, a certified urban planner, answers: Our planning system is the back. By the time such a large application for planning was submitted and locals were first consulted on it, the developer, the council and various other parties were in long and lengthy negotiations.

For the developer, the planning program itself is almost the end of the process. For residents, this could be a terrible start.

Residents are at a great disadvantage in the planning process – they have neither the technical knowledge nor the financial resources used by developers and councils.

The locals are a separate group. Developers are highly oriented companies that want to make a profit. When large applications are submitted to the public, this is often a kind of perfect fact.

Choosing access is a good example of how this works. Whether the entrance is suitable for the projected increase in traffic – including during the construction phase, when heavy trucks will be driving – is a technical issue addressed in a conversation between consultants of the developer on highways and local road management. These discussions take place before the application is submitted, and you, as a local, are essentially told that an agreement has been reached.

If your lane is a public road, the developer can reasonably apply for its expansion and upgrade to accommodate the increased traffic. The main question from the point of view of the highway is whether the extended road is safe. Planners will go wading in certain circumstances – for example, if you are in an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty (AONB) or a conservation area – but otherwise will prefer your colleagues on the highway.

That extra traffic on the road will cause extra noise and interference that affect your quiet enjoyment of your home isn’t really considered unless the impact is severe.

Remember that board members and elected members work for you

So, can you do anything? A group of residents with good resources could hire their own road consultants to carefully study what the board and developer have agreed. However, for most it is unprofitable financially.

The only option that remains is to make loud and noisy performances. It is these perceptions that make neighbors be labeled NIMBY – unfair when making noise – this is the only way they can effectively participate in the planning of a closed shop.

True, piercing, angry, unfocused objections are not very helpful. However, remember that board members and elected members work for you. Contact your ward counselors and ask them to check access with you. Request a meeting with the planning officer and try to get in touch with the engineers involved in the road management.

You can also try talking to developers in hopes that they will consider an alternative approach to development. At the very least, you have a right to a proper understanding of how the road will be changed and what volume and structure of traffic is expected.


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