In February 2016, a couple discovered that a planning application had been registered with Wiltshire Council for their farm cottage to be surrounded by a new 700-home estate, destroying miles of fields and the idyllic location of their property.
This news was especially devastating for the couple, as they had embarked on extensive renovations to the property since purchasing it five years previously; increasing the value from approximately £300,000 to £425,000.
Although a public exhibition was held in December 2014, and an advert was placed in the Wiltshire-based Gazette and Herald, the couple were not directly consulted or given the opportunity to register their objections before the developers applied for planning permission.
The discovery was only made after the planning application had been registered
This vital information was only conveyed to the couple by chance, after the planning application had been registered, through a conversation with a local resident while they were out walking their dogs.
Upon learning of the plans, the couple were also shocked to find that their home didn’t even appear on the submitted aerial drawings of the proposed new estate, despite it being in the middle of the site.
The final decision has yet to be made
Fortunately, at the point the couple made the discovery, comments were still invited until 27th May 2016, giving them the chance to put forward their concerns before a final decision was made; albeit later than the couple would have preferred.
However, as it currently stands (true as of 4th January 2017), a holding direction has been placed on the planning application, which is expected to delay a final decision for many months.
This far exceeds the original target date for a decision, which was set for 16th December 2016, and ultimately prolongs the period of stress and uncertainty for the couple.
The coupled could have sold the property and unwittingly passed on the risk of it devaluing, as Paul Albone, Managing Director at tmgroup, comments:
“While this couple have clearly been unlucky, this could have also been a very sorry situation for a potential buyer, as had plans been in motion to sell the cottage, the couple could have unwittingly passed on the property as well as the risk of it devaluing.
This situation highlights the very real risks associated with property investment, and the devastation that new plans and developments can have on the surrounding properties – especially in idyllic locations.
It also emphasises the fundamental importance of requesting searches, such as the Groundsure Planning Search Report, and understanding exactly what you are buying before committing to a purchase; even more so if you are new to an area and would never benefit from a ‘passer-by’ sharing local news.”
About the Groundsure Planning Search Report
The Groundsure Planning Search Report provides key information about planning applications for house extensions, small and large projects, and mobile masts in close proximity to the property; as well as local information about infrastructure, crime and education statistics.
This report is available to order through the tmconvey platform.
You can view sample reports here for both Residential and Commercial