Number of planning application refusals on the rise in Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
The number of planning applications which get refused are on the rise with 18,500 rejections last year. Property editor Caroline Culot reports.
Just Planning, which campaigns against unjust decisions, successfully overturned 71% of the planning rejections it worked on last year by highlighting discrepancies in planning officers' decisions - and this equates to approximately 18,500 council decisions based on 'unjust principles.'
Only 2,190 households managed to overcome these officers last year by successfully appealing to the national Planning Inspectorate on their own. However, Just Planning expects the number of unfair rejections to hit almost 20,000 households in 2016, a figure that will dramatically increase even further in 2017 if changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) currently under debate are enacted later this year. It believes these changes will further complicate the UK's 'chaotic system of local planning rules, overload planning officers and confuse householders.' In Norfolk, local authorities did not fare too badly with a 90.2% approval rate on average but Breckland came out the very worst with passing 81% of all applications - well below the national average of approximately 90%. Great Yarmouth came out the worst for only replying to 36% of households within the recommended eight week deadline (or a new, mutually agreed deadline). But what does all this mean to the people putting in the applications? Matthew Green, a Norfolk builder, recently had his dreams for creating a special house in Castle Acre dashed for good when his two year appeal against a planning refusal was finally rejected. As reported in these pages previously, Mr Green wanted to create a fantastic eco friendly house with a swimming pool. He bought a run down house at the end of the high street in Castle Acre with lovely views across the countryside but his plans, even though he spent around £7,000 on the appeal process, were finally rejected recently by an independent adjudicator because the proposals were deemed too out of character and not in keeping with the local area. He is now forced to re-think the plans altogether and plans to sell the property on. He told the EDP yesterday: 'It's very frustrating because it was going to be my dream home and I spent a lot of time and money on appealing against the planning refusal and taking it as far as I could. However, I have been very lucky with many of the houses I have built which have been given planning permission quickly and easily so I suppose, I have to feel that you can't win them all.'
Mr Green will be restoring the property to sell on.