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Planning Permission.

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I'm in discussion with a local land ower who has some land with a disused range on it. It hasn't been used for that in many decades but the structure is still mostly there and needs some work to bring it back up to being usable again. Am I likely to need to apply for fresh planning permission to use it as a range? My thinking is that it was obviously used lawfully as a range under permission that was granted many, many years ago so presumably that still exists? It's just farmland now but was also used as farmland during the time it was was used a range so the use hasn't actually changed, as such, it's just that one of the uses hasn't been carried out for years.

Anyone got any thoughts?

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I'm in discussion with a local land ower who has some land with a disused range on it. It hasn't been used for that in many decades but the structure is still mostly there and needs some work to bring it back up to being usable again. Am I likely to need to apply for fresh planning permission to use it as a range? My thinking is that it was obviously used lawfully as a range under permission that was granted many, many years ago so presumably that still exists? It's just farmland now but was also used as farmland during the time it was was used a range so the use hasn't actually changed, as such, it's just that one of the uses hasn't been carried out for years.

Anyone got any thoughts?

PP usually lasts 3 (it used to be 5) years, and lapses if nothing has been started. However there is a small loophole that says the PP can't lapse if the work has been started and is underway... so what people used to do (if coming up to the end of the term) was peg out the foundations, maybe dig a few holes and then just leave it saying the job had started.

In your case I suspect you'll need to start from square 1

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Nah he has a derelict building I assume not quite fit to be used...

I suspect no PP is needed, no change of use either .......... The building might need a licence though for the activity and this might be the sticking point...

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Nah he has a derelict building I assume not quite fit to be used...

Essentialy, yes. It's not something which is being built from nothing and is really just a refurbishment of something already existing, although isn't a use to which the land has actually been put for several years. I hate to start asking the planning authoritries these things until I actually know the answer my self so that I'm just telling them what I'm doing (if it's necessary) rather than asking them because in the latter case the answer is very often "no" or they'll try and look for a reason as to why it can't be done.

I suspect no PP is needed, no change of use either .......... The building might need a licence though for the activity and this might be the sticking point...

The actual legalities of operating the place are not too onerous. Ranges all used to have to have a safety certificate issued by the MoD but they stopped doing this a while back. These days as long as the range is insured that is sufficient.

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Nah he has a derelict building I assume not quite fit to be used...

I suspect no PP is needed, no change of use either .......... The building might need a licence though for the activity and this might be the sticking point...

Not quite as simple as that. A close friend has a plot of land that was used as a builders yard as far back as 1945 and probably earlier than then. He's used it for storing materials since he purchased it in 1982. So it has been in continuous use as a builders yard for at least 65 years. Since 1985 he's applied for planning permission to build a house three times. Each time planning permission has been refused. He was advised to apply for lawful use two years ago. Which he did. Refused.

On appeal despite producing evidence going back to 1952 showing that it was used as a builders yard and verbal evidence being given by several local villagers supporting his assertion that it has been in continuous use as a builders yard he was refused consent to use it as a builders yard. The main problem is that because he kept the stored materials behind shrubs one parish councillor, the chairman of the planning committee, in particular claimed it was not in use. The planning inspector gave his evidence more weight than seven other villagers!!

He's still exploring other avenues and I don't fully understand why consent was refused. It's really annoying that he's being put to this trouble when in other parts of the village very large houses are being built on greenfield sites. Perhaps I'm being paranoid but there does seem to be a touch of favoritism (or corruption) in play.

I've suggested he sells it to Gypsies.

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Not quite as simple as that. A close friend has a plot of land that was used as a builders yard as far back as 1945 and probably earlier than then. He's used it for storing materials since he purchased it in 1982. So it has been in continuous use as a builders yard for at least 65 years. Since 1985 he's applied for planning permission to build a house three times. Each time planning permission has been refused. He was advised to apply for lawful use two years ago. Which he did. Refused.

On appeal despite producing evidence going back to 1952 showing that it was used as a builders yard and verbal evidence being given by several local villagers supporting his assertion that it has been in continuous use as a builders yard he was refused consent to use it as a builders yard. The main problem is that because he kept the stored materials behind shrubs one parish councillor, the chairman of the planning committee, in particular claimed it was not in use. The planning inspector gave his evidence more weight than seven other villagers!!

He's still exploring other avenues and I don't fully understand why consent was refused. It's really annoying that he's being put to this trouble when in other parts of the village very large houses are being built on greenfield sites. Perhaps I'm being paranoid but there does seem to be a touch of favoritism (or corruption) in play.

I've suggested he sells it to Gypsies.

This is precisely the situation I want to avoid. It sounds as though in your friends case the council has got it wrong and can't actually refuse and that if your friend had simply decided to use it as a builders yard then there would be nothing they could do about it. He probably still could but once they are involved and have said "no" it just complicates matters. Saying "no" and actually being able to say "no" lawfully and stop you doing it and very different things.

The problem is that councillors are mostly to33ers who don't know the law and who have many reasons for coming to the decisions they do. The actual planning officers seem to know what they are talking about though.

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I'm in discussion with a local land ower who has some land with a disused range on it. It hasn't been used for that in many decades but the structure is still mostly there and needs some work to bring it back up to being usable again. Am I likely to need to apply for fresh planning permission to use it as a range? My thinking is that it was obviously used lawfully as a range under permission that was granted many, many years ago so presumably that still exists? It's just farmland now but was also used as farmland during the time it was was used a range so the use hasn't actually changed, as such, it's just that one of the uses hasn't been carried out for years.

Anyone got any thoughts?

If there was previously an established use as a range then you would simply be resurrecting an existing use. It might be worth doing a search to see what consents were granted and whether they were of a temporary or permanent nature. You need to be careful because sometimes PP is granted to the current landowner or occupier (rather than the land) and ceases to exist when they move on. This often happens, from my experience when people apply for PP for animal breeding establishments / leisure activities.

Assuming all is well the regulatory issues (assuming this is a commercial venture) are health and safety. As a leisure activity I think this falls to LA environmental health. Other factor to consider is noise and proximity to other residential property in view of nuisance law - primarily EPA 1990 - again down to EH enforcement.

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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