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The planning system is broken

Croydon is our patch. We build, renovate, refurbish homes in and around the area so believe we know it well; serve and support it well too.

Croydon (like many Boroughs) needs decent affordable housing so when you are hit with a refusal to ‘improve’ an existing space you might not be blamed for thinking what a contradiction.

Call me disgruntled but with good reason!
What if you’ve painstakingly put together the perfect plans for your building project; gone to preplanning adding more cost and time (six months in our case) to your project.

You’ve been guided how to change your plans so that it meets the Councils criteria and might be looked at more favourably. You have followed the Council’s advice to the letter only for your planning application to be refused against their own recommendations and criteria. That same criteria they changed halfway through your application already in progress.

The worst of it is that the process has taken a year to receive a negative decision! Yes, you might well be disgruntled and understand why I say the planning system is broken. What now?

We can stay disgruntled or do something about it. Our next steps:

* We’ve found a decent planning consultant – they are steeped in magnifying the devil in the detail and pulling out points you wouldn’t have, ready for Appeal.
* We’ll attempt to speak to our planning case officer for further clarification. Frankly it is highly unlikely but well worth a try.
* We’ll launch an Appeal (within three months, six months for larger developments).

The good news is that statistics show that about one-third of Planning Appeals are successful! The decision is taken fully out of the hands of the Council and independently reviewed.

If all else fails. We’ll submit a totally new improved application with the lessons you’ve learned (and a few choice words). No/giving up is not an option when there is no real justification for it.

Small developers need more support from their local Councils to deliver decent and affordable housing.

Anyone else in the same boat right now? I would love to know how long your application took.