An egg-cellent result for Halfway Egg Farm!
- Negotiating Compensation
- Managing an Easement
SECTORS & SERVICES USED:
- Planning Application
- Pre-planning application
- Agricultural & Forestry
- Residential Plots
“When coming to Bloomfields for planning advice to add value, the benefits of a multidisciplinary firm soon become apparent. You’ll discover you can depend on professionals from the different specialist departments to all ‘muck-in’. This provides a complete and invaluable service for the client.”
- explains Director, Tom Ogden
Bloomfields were first approached by their client in late 2015 to undertake a planning review of their site (then a small livestock farm, farm shop and redundant café/retail unit) to consider possible development options. It was around this time that the first permitted development rights existed to turn agricultural barns to residential units in what was then known as Class MB (which has since evolved into what is Class Q).
Bloomfields were able to advise their client of their planning options and the team established various fall-back positions for residential units on site. Mindful that, at the time, Swale Borough Council had not met their five-year housing land supply position, the Bloomfields team were able to promote the site through the Local Plan. They simultaneously advised on the benefits of entering pre-application discussions with the Council about developing the site, despite it being in the countryside and partly in an allocated ‘Strategic Gap’.
Pre-application discussions identified that the principle of the development on parts of this brownfield site should be accepted, whilst the fallback positions held material weight. Liaison with the Council identified the opportunity to increase the proposed number of units on the site from 12 to 19, and this was subsequently worked into the masterplan by the Bloomfields’ architectural team. At the same time, provision was made to relocate the existing farm shop on site and provide the applicant with a new agricultural barn to support their farm shop.
An outline application was collaborated by Bloomfields who managed many third-party consultants, including drainage engineers, highway engineers, landscape architects, and ecologist, to name a few.
Three different planning officers later, and having altered the scheme to satisfy each of the planning officer’s needs along the way (and despite local objection), Bloomfields were able to negotiate a resolution to approve with the Council. After this, a S106 had to be negotiated before a favourable decision was issued without the need to go to planning committee or appeal the case for non-determination.
But it didn’t stop there, and rather than appeal some questionable conditions on the 19-unit approval, Bloomfields set about preparing a separate application to allow changes to the farm shop to ensure it could operate without first having to satisfy all the conditions relating to the residential development. This uncomplicated the negotiation process with the developers and allowed Mr and Mrs Harding to more ‘cleanly’ divide the site and be in control of their own destiny.
At the time the planning process was going on, Lambert & Foster’s rural professional team were introduced to help the land owner in protecting their interests during a National Grid project to replace overhead power cables. Over a two-year period, National Grid required intermittent access to a pylon situated on the edge of the main farmyard to complete operational works and to store materials. Lambert & Foster agreed appropriate accommodation works to minimise the disruption to our client’s business, to make sure the land was reinstated to our client’s satisfaction and to agree a compensation package for the disturbance that was caused.
MANAGING AN EASEMENT
Whilst the team at Bloomfields were negotiating their planning application with the Local Council, Lambert & Foster were pulled in to deal with the negotiation of a drainage easement over our client’s land in order to facilitate a national house builder being able to provide a foul drainage solution to a development scheme next door.
Having concluded planning matters, the Lambert & Foster development sales team launched the development site to the market in December 2021 and the site created an excellent range of interest from both local and national house builders. Having invited Best Offers, a sale was eventually agreed with Kent based Esquire Developments, who have established an excellent reputation for high quality builds locally. As our clients plan to continue living next to the new homes they were keen to engage with a developer who would deliver a high quality build. We wish Esquire the best of luck with the project, which is currently at building stage, and look forward to handling the sales of the new homes in 2024.