Bloors new plan for 90 homes in Groby
article provided by GrobyOnline.tk
When planning permission was refused for the development of land next to Groby cemetery following the dismissal at appeal of a 133 dwelling scheme in February 2011 residents believed because of the “2 year rule” there could be no further application submitted until January 2013 at the earliest.
But Bloors Homes has confirmed that the company is preparing a revised planning application for a residential development. They say it has been designed to address the constraints associated with the site identified through the appeal process and to meet the Borough Council’s policy requirements for affordable housing.
So what about the 2 year rule?
Bloors believes that it is legitimate for them to submit a new application before two years have elapsed, arguing that the power to decline to determine a revised planning application is available to local planning authorities where the revised application is the same or similar to the refused or dismissed applications and the local planning authority consider that there has been no significant change in the relevant considerations since the relevant refusal or dismissal.
It seems that the legislation relating to this issue says that “an application for planning permission is similar if the local planning authority think that the development and the land to which the applications relate are the same or substantially the same.” Bloors argues that the revised scheme is not the same or substantially the same as that dismissed at appeal and that the only way the Borough can determine whether or not this is the case is by allowing a revised application to be submitted. They also believe that the power to refuse an application within the two year period should only be used in narrow circumstances where an applicant is deliberately trying to exert pressure on the local planning authority by submitting repeat applications and not where an applicant is making a genuine attempt to take account of objections to a proposal.
The Borough Council has taken legal advice to try and clarify the situation. “The two year rule is intended to stop an applicant from submitting the same application within a two year period,” explained a spokesman for the Council. “According to our legal advice, we have to allow Bloors the chance to submit another application to see if it is substantially different from the one that was rejected.”
So what's different about this scheme?
Bloors points out that the revised scheme
proposes a significantly reduced number of dwellings (from 133 to approximately 90, the final number being subject to detailed design);
meets the requirements for affordable housing;
will avoid those areas of the site subject to flood risk and as such will not require a flood compensation scheme;
will incorporate a Sustainable Urban Drainage system; and
will allow for unobstructed easements to the watercourses along the northern and eastern boundaries.
Once the Borough Council has the planning application it can decide whether it agrees that it is substantially different from the one that was rejected. If it is then, as Bloors points out, representations can be made to the Borough Council in the usual way. The objections to the previous application will not be taken into consideration and if residents still have concerns they will have to engage with the planning process once again and send in comments on the new application. In the meantime the Parish Council has decided that if it needs representation in connection with any application for the site it will re-engage Marrons, a specialist practice based in Leicester which focuses on planning and environmental, public law and property.GrobyOnline.tk