Meeting with the Planning Department
I knew the Local Plan inside out and had rough drawings that outlined a slightly modified design but I was a whole lot less optimistic than the first visit, as I wandered back into the Council Planning Department.
I was told that the planner that dealt with my case (and refused me) had left the Council, so my meeting was with a different planner whose opening line was - I'm afraid I haven't seen the plans and know nothing about this. I was only told about this meeting ten minutes ago. My heart sank.
It was a long meeting. That said, I was pleased that she seemed sufficiently interested that she allowed what was scheduled as a fifteen minute meeting to run on for forty five. I felt I had made my case, outlined the reasons I wished to extend in the manner I designed and why some other suggested ideas would not work. As I left though, she committed to nothing because, quite rightly, she said it was the Conservation Team that levelled the objections so she would have to run all ideas past them for their input. She said she would do so and then get back to me. I specifically asked that if the Conservation Team did not approve of my ideas, they offer some of their own that would meet my brief, which I felt reflected reasonable aspirations for property modernisation (quoted from the Local Plan).
Once home, I e-mailed the planner, thanking her for the meeting and offering her my e-mail address to speed up future correspondence.
Two weeks later I received a reply. The Conservation Team didn't really care for my drawing but they did as requested and sent through a rough scribbled drawing outlining how they felt an extension could be designed appropriately. They claimed that such a design would be more in keeping with the neighbouring properties as it was a common style of extension. Actually, it isn't any more common than what I had proposed, but I was relieved that equally, it wasn't really all that different. Curiously and ironically, it was an idea I had considered in the design stage, but I stayed with my original idea as I felt it would be less controversial and more likely to get planning permission.
| Planner's Sketch
You can just make out the scribbles they made on the side and rear elevations of my existing property drawing