We felt real sympathy for a couple in the news last month facing an impossible battle against development that will have real impact on their lives. In case you missed the article, the Campbells, a family in Lincolnshire have learnt that a large quarry is going to be built less than 100m from their home. The family bought a derelict Grade 11 listed building two decades ago and have painstakingly restored it into a beautiful home. The house enjoys extensive rural views and is now worth significantly more than the £270k it was originally purchased for. The new quarry will undoubtedly impact their views, enjoyment of their rural idyll and the value of the property.
How did the quarry get planning?
Unbeknown to the Campbells at the time of purchase, planning permission for the quarry dating back to 1954 was already in place. The area has long been approved for a quarry of the proposed scale, but never disclosed to the Campbells. They bought the derelict property with no indication of this historic planning permission or another one in granted in the 60s too.
What happens next?
It is highly unlikely that local objections will now impact the progression of the quarry site. Where permission has already been granted, the council’s hands are largely tied and could face compensation claims from the Operator if they refuse to now allow development to go ahead. Discussion between all parties is about what planning standards the quarry will operate under, not whether the development will proceed.
The reality is that the quarry will become part of the Campbells landscape in the near future.
How do you protect yourself or your client from being in this situation?
“Had we known in 1999 when we bought this property that this was a risk, we could have certainly made an informed choice about whether to invest in our dream home or not.“
We have real sympathy for the Campbells finding themselves in this position and having very little power to change the course of the development. But, it is clear that their real disappointment and dismay is about the lack of information provided to them at the time of purchase. They may still have chosen to invest in the building but with the benefit of making an informed decision.
The good news is that this situation can be avoided. Where standard searches do not collect the entirety of planning data that is available, we are specialists in collating all the information, identifying planning trends and are able to extrapolate the real development risks. By commissioning a DevAssist report, you can have peace of mind that all potential and planned development will be unearthed and disclosed to you. Our reports are user friendly, comprehensive, and we take full responsibility for the interpretation of the data.