Tuesday 5 December 2023

1A Macfarlane Rd Case Dismissed For "Improper Service"

The developers of 1A Macfarlane Rd have today won a further round in their legal battle to keep their housing development, first constructed in the Spring of 2020 (see before and after image on left). 

The developers' appeal against the Council's latest Enforcement Notice was upheld on a technicality - for improper service of the notice. 

Failure to Serve Correct Notice
This is, unfortunately, the second time that LBHF have failed to serve the enforcement notices correctly, and therefore the second time their case has failed.  So, for now, unless LBHF can correctly serve its notices a third time, the developers appear to have won by default.

Hearing 5 December 2023
At today's "informal hearing" regarding the the developers' Appeal Notice regarding 1A Macfarlane Rd, the council's notice was dismissed for "improper service" of the Enforcement notice. Part of the confusion appears to be in regard to the basement flat at 12 Hopgood St which, though part of the 1A Macfarlane Rd development, did not receive a notice. 

HM Inspectorate
The Hearing today was chaired by Diane Fleming from HM Inspectorate. The Appellant, Mrs Bucciol, was represented by her solicitor, Mr Frame, and by a barrister, Mr Collett, a planning specialist from Magdalen Chambers. LBHF was represented by Mr James Carleton, Principal Planning Enforcement Officer. 

1A Macfarlane Rd
1A Macfarlane Rd is an interesting case because most builders follow the approved plans pretty closely. In this case, the owner made significant changes to what was approved. Our Council requested changes to the building, but the owner applied for retrospective permission to vary the original plans. This was rejected, and was followed by a Enforcement Notice - which was the subject of today's appeal.


What Next?
The only remaining option for LBHF appears to be to re-serve notices of Enforcement, this time ensuring that all the notices are served correctly, as required by law.  

Time Limits - Four Years
For breach of planning law, the enforcement body (ie LBHF) has four years from the date of completion of the building.  Since 1A Macfarlane Rd was completed in early 2020, there is still (a little) time left. 

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