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Advised against land purchase

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Advised against land purchase

Postby artemis » Sat May 06, 2017 1:23 pm

Hi all,

When the owners of an area of open space went into administration the land went to auction but very cheap as it was believed it couldn't be developed. A number of people had interest in the land and when consulting a local councillor were told that a communal purchase of the land would have too many legal complications and that they would apply measures to protect the land from ever being developed.
The land was purchased by a developer and application has been made to build on it (at a huge profit if allowed to go ahead). Had a communal purchase gone ahead we could have prevented this from ever happening as I personally would have liked to have owned the land around my property.

Do we have a case of any sort that the councillor and council assured us that houses couldn't and wouldn't be built and we were advised against purchasing the land ourselves to preserve it if development does occur?

This has been stated in objections to the planning application but many people feel they have been misled and it's a degree of fraud?
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Re: Advised against land purchase

Postby dls » Sat May 06, 2017 4:03 pm

The sensible remedy (and possibly the only one), is to vote him or her out next time.

You would have to have identified clear losses - and what you describe would be difficult to turn into numbers.

You would have to identify a very clear statement and just how it amounted to a promise or a representation or a statement of fact.

Rely upon an assertion of misbehaviour (fraud) only if absolutely necessary - it doubles your risks and quadruples the costs. It is only very rarely needed.
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Re: Advised against land purchase

Postby atticus » Sat May 06, 2017 5:17 pm

You say an application for planning permission has been made. The Councillor could not possibly have said that could not be done.

Has there been a decision on that application?
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Re: Advised against land purchase

Postby artemis » Sat May 06, 2017 6:59 pm

Many thanks both, unfortunately the councillor has since been replaced. I have e-mail communications from the councillor for the ward at the time one of which actually states that the action they have taken will ensure that development cannot happen. The current councillor is assisting with the matter and helping but can't say categorically that building cannot happen on the site just that there is some hope based on the number of restrictions and costs involved to remedy issues.

At the time the land was purchased, much of what the councillor said was that it would be 'very difficult' to get planning permission and words along those lines and only one e-mail (probably mistakenly worded as a definitive) to me read as if to say it would not be possible.

No decision has yet been made, people tend to suggest that once a planning application has been registered then it's unlikely to be rejected and the best hope is to just influence what happens (e.g. window types, roof height etc.). I hope that it would get rejected (pending the result of an appeal process at another unrelated location) but if not then people might be looking for some form of recompense or compensation based on the advice from the local councillor at the time. Difficult as you say to turn into numbers. The councillor actually stated that if the land had building potential it would have been sold for millions not little more than £10k as it did.
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Re: Advised against land purchase

Postby atticus » Sat May 06, 2017 7:20 pm

Planning applications succeed. Planning applications do not succeed.

Why not have a look around your local authority's planning site? Why not have a look at the local plan, and see the use for the area in which this site is located?
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Re: Advised against land purchase

Postby tph » Tue May 16, 2017 8:16 pm

If it was set out as open space as part of the housing development their would have been a planning obligation to make it so. This would be the principal ground to object to the application. Loss of amenity space provided as part of the principal development.

You could still get together with the other residents and register the land as an asset of community value.
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