In brief, I purchased a disused agricultural building at auction over 18 months ago for the purpose of converting it to a small cottage for myself to live in.
The building sits back from the road approximately 25m, is single storey, the back elevation is of brick, the front timber, one side abuts an occupied cottage and the other is brick with an adjoining workshop also of brick. It has an up and over double pitched tiled roof as has the workshop, and is within 100m of four residential buildings
It shows up on maps dating back to the 1800â€™s where there was a larger two storey barn in front of it towards the road which was demolished sometime in the middle part of the 20th century.
My problem is getting planning permission. I managed to get a very brief meeting with a member of the local councils planning team who told me I should not to expect planning as I only paid X amount for the building and went on to point out some of the local councils criteria on barn conversions, these seemed to be against central government guidelines.
I applied for planning permission but after various communications with the council where they informed me that I did not have a large enough of an amenity area, which I found strange as they granted permission for the conversation of a small telephone exchange half mile away with no amenity area, and had no historical interest (to whom?), And after fulfilling their requests and getting a Bat survey and a building survey, I pulled the application before a decision was made on advice from various people so that I could put together a better case.
I employed a planning consultant and applied again, unfortunately I became unemployed and could not continue with the rising cost of employing him.
The council unbeknown to me stopped the application with an undecided decision on the application. The council were adamant that it did not fit their criteria for conversion to residential but had asked for a contamination survey and a structural survey, which would cost me a few thousand pounds. This put me in a dilemma as if I did not meet their request this would go against me on appeal, which appeared is how it would go, but would be a waste of money as they would not grant permission anyway.
On my last contact with the council to arrange for an informal meeting with someone in the planning department for advice on how to proceed I was informed that this would cost me almost Â£300 per hour or part there of, and that they required all planning details in advance of the meeting.
I believe the council are discriminating against me and I do not know of which route to take now.
Any advice would be gratefully received
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