Introduction to the full story
We purchased this small site in the autumn of 2015. We had undertaken extensive research as to the Conservation Area and were satisfied that development of these two tiny paddocks could not damage any aspect or element of it. The land had no other protection nor designation.
Our application for nine self-build plots was refused by South Cambridgeshire on 05/05/2017. The delegation report was an awful, rambling, disjointed, unstructured document. The Refusal notice was clearly divided into three sections, each headed with a short title. The text is in a quite different style, clearly written by a different person. Our planning consultant attempted to discuss the issues with the case officer. The case officer refused. Unfortunately, the planning consultant failed to keep any record.
The refusal notice contained three numbered points. They were:
failure to provide affordable housing;
effect of development on the Conservation Area;
erosion of the green gap between the village and Northstowe.
We appealed. Our appeal was dismissed by the Inspector on 4th May 2018.
As a matter of law, LPA is not permitted to add new reasons for refusal simply because an applicant has appealed. In this case the three reasons were covered as follows:
- Only a couple of weeks or so before the Inspectors decision, the Council withdrew the point regarding affordable housing, under new pressure from the Minister.
- The Inspector took our side in dismissing the matter relating to the green gap.
- The Application was refused by the Inspector only on the question of the Conservation Area.
We started a research project to discover the truth. The research continues. We hope you may be able to help.
By May 2018 we were certain that the entire process which ended in the adoption of a forged draft document as an SPD which has been the basis of the Council’s policy relating to Longstanton Conservation Area since 2005 was fraudulent. However, it was too late to appeal again and the evidence we had was not really strong enough. It is now. The saga relating to the Conservation Area is now contained in our own report titled “Longstanton Conservation Area – Re-appraisal”. Find it with our extensive comments here.
By 2020 we had both evidence and funds to deal thoroughly with whatever policy seemed appropriate. We had also heard on the grapevine that the Council had embarked on a new assessment of the value of the historic assets which constituted the Conservation Area. Accordingly we submitted our second application (“APP2") on or around 14/10/2020. You can read:
a list and description of each of the documents submitted;
100% of the subsequent correspondence and documents attached, commented.
In or around February 2019 and after two years of fruitless requests for information on an item by item basis, we submitted to SouthCambs a comprehensive Freedom of information request constituting approximately 25 subjects, broken down, between them, to approximately 125 questions. SouthCambs succeeded in prevaricating and releasing snatches of information periodically, but ultimately we demanded that the Information Commissioner should issue a formal report condemning the failure of SouthCambs to provide information in accordance with the law.
With the Commissioner’s report to hand, we decided to build on such information as had been provided, together with the results of information and research we had acquired over the previous two years, by submitting a new omnibus request. We expect to be able to submit that request by 31st of March 2021. Now that we are aware of the appalling inefficiency of the Information Commissioner’s office we are confident that we shall push this second application through far faster.
The correct responses to the combined applications will provide us with full detail of the fraudulent activity about which you can read thoroughly in our re-appraisal document linked above. We shall also be able to name our “top 20" officers and members guilty of criminal fraud and/or simply conspiring in misrepresentation and maladministration.
However, we are really not presently concerned with SouthCambs’ past problems. Our only aim is to spread the truth around the region in the country to such an extent that no officer or member of SouthCambs Council can seriously dispute the truth of our propositions, and consequently, the fact that our very modest proposal cannot be refused again on the basis of unlawful activity.
As you will see if you follow the correspondence, in order to make absolutely clear that we are not bringing any pressure to bear on SouthCambs in relation to our proposal. We are doing no more than insisting that they tell the truth and apply facts are not lies to their assessment of the benefit of our proposal as against any “harm” that they might be able to dig up in some new direction. I refer in particular to our letter to case officer Lewis Tomlinson dated 10th of January 2021, attached to a message dated 11th of January 2021
How different groups are affected
Council Tax payers
When that small paddock gives homes to people desperate to move into the area and a home they own for the very first time, think of your children, nephews and nieces - and millions of others without a voice. Can you not spare the small, and mostly very temporary, loss of amenity? We are not talking about a carbuncle of 200 red brick boxes here. We are talking about a small number of houses hidden behind what will be high hedges which will also preserve your rural idyll from whatever construction goes up just beyond our site, for Northstowe Phase 3.
To you who work to keep England beautiful
We are not the enemy. Please stop treating us as if we were. Our business is simply to build the homes that people need. Here is more about how we think you can make change happen.
Officers and members
I remind you that the history revealed in three of the reports we have written have been included with the application papers ONLY in order to prevent falsehoods from again defeating my application. With a tiny number of exceptions, I’m sure that if you were involved at all in the issues I have recorded so carefully, you were badly advised by your internal lawyers and leaders at the time. I understand that you simply did not appreciate the repercussions of your enthusiasm, first to keep Northstowe at bay in 2005 and subsequently to prevent my development in 2017.
Because you have had the opportunity to read my reappraisal document for some months now, I am disappointed that you have failed to see the possible impact of your refusal to bring it into the open. The longer you leave it, the more you implicate yourself in the past bad deeds of your forebears in office.
Searching for a house
The primary mission of our business “Luvli Homes” is to accommodate you in beautiful homes with loads of space, loads of light and loads of storage – at a price you can afford. It’s a big challenge for us but we are determined to win. I have a suggestion as to how you might improve your chances.
I guess you big guys can look after yourselves pretty well. There are probably only 20 of you in England and without you we should have virtually no new houses. We small guys struggle rather more because LPAs can manage without us if push comes to shove. Even though we seem to be today’s spoilt youngest children of the Housing Minister, we still struggle with the desperate entreaties of government to build houses on the one hand and being cast as “nasty despoliators of the countryside “on the other hand.
We can’t be the first developer to have opened up publicly every communication made with an LPA, but certainly we have found no others. Wherever you work, I’m sure you will find it interesting and amusing to see the interface and developing relationship between ourselves and SouthCambs. We hope and believe that the new planning partnership with Cambridge City is the beginning of a new book – let alone a new chapter.
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