Hi there, We have a block of offices at the back of my house, in a conservation area, in a very densely populated area of Round Hill in Brighton. A planning developer bought the land and office block & put in an app in Jan to turn the offices into flats. It received 86 objections on the basis of over development & loss of privacy, and he withdrew it as he knew it was going to be refused. At the time he classed the building as A2.
He has now put in a second application, under the "permitted development" legislation of May 2013, stating this time that the building was B1(a), so changing his mind on that. The Council say they can ONLY consider the highways, contamination and flood risk factors on this, NOT the fact that we think the building was NOT B1(a) on 30th May 2013, but A2.
The Council say that they can't refuse the application based on the change of use technicality, but will more then likely allow it through with an "informative" saying that he would have to prove later that it was in fact B1(a). Is the Council right in this instance, or could/should they actually say no on the basis that the class use was not B1(a) (the last people in there were environmental consultants, who I would think fall under A2, would you agree??).
If so, where can we get definitive proof of the class use of the building immediately prior to May 2013? We do know the name of the company that was renting the building (Geo Environmental, now based in Hurstpieroint), but not sure how to approach for proof they were A2 (or anything other than B1(a)). A resident has asked them already and the person said they didn't know where they could get that info from for us.
I am also wondering who the onus is on to prove the class use of the building for the permitted development to go through (or not) - is it up to a) the developer to prove what it was b) the council to find out what it was or c) us, the residents to prove what is was?
Only 3 weeks left of the 56 day window before it's allowed through anyway, and I'm really worried that this inappropriate over development meters away from my house will go through! Any help very very gratefully received! Thanks, Sally