WD 2022 1743 FULL PLANNING APPLICATION
CONVERTED STABLES - Part of the Lime Park estate that once belonged to the Baron Karl von Roemer, and his son, Charles de Roemer, this nice stable square had been converted to residential accommodation with garages and a store. Now, the subject of a potential dispute under the Party Wall Act 1996, that was revealed in June of 2022, when the owner of this property failed to serve notice as to intended works.
In 2022, the owner/occupiers of The Rectory, applied for planning permission under WD/2022/0479/F, withdrawing that application, but proceeding to build more or less that shown in that application, without the benefit of planning permission - claiming permitted development rights, and transmitting that intention to the agent for Herstmonceux Museum Limited by email, with attachments.
Unauthorized development is not unlawful or illegal, but could become so if it is the subject of a successful enforcement action. It is just a curious fact that having applied for consent, that it should be withdrawn, then a fresh (free) application should be submitted, according to the accompanying application 'Form,' saying that the development had not started. When in fact the building works, including roofing had not only started, but were all but complete. Save for finishing electrical and plumbing works.
Neither the first or second applications included a Heritage Statement.
Before the work was undertaken, and in preparation for such works, a tree was felled, and a hedge was removed while the building works were ongoing. We wonder then how the circles above were ticked?
It appears from the photographs taken during the building works, that the construction and major roof alteration was begun and virtually completed before the making of this application. We wonder then how the circle above was ticked?
The conversion involved the loss of two garage parking spaces, leading from and into the Rectory courtyard. We wonder then how the circle above was ticked? Obviously, the garages were pre-existing parking associated with the Old Rectory, the loss of which must affect parking arrangements for the occupiers of the Rectory, and all of those within Lime Park who may be affected by parking overspill into the shared drive.
Readers will note that this is not one random mis-declaration, but a whole series of them, tending to suggest that the application was crafted to obtain consent, based on an incomplete, or misleading assessment of the situation. Any property professional would have known how important it is to make accurate declarations when making any planning application.
This is another curious fact, because the applicant's knew a great deal about the adjacent historic building, a unique Generating Station dating from C. 1890, included on a Monument Protection Programme with English Heritate (now Historic England) and recorded at East Sussex County Council archives, also available on the web via The Keep.
No 'Notice' was given as to intended ground works, as it appears to have been a legal requirement, according to the Party Wall Act 1996, as parts of the excavations that had taken place before the grant on any permission, were within three meters of the adjacent historic asset, and below the foundation of the former industrial complex. As you may imagine, this somewhat shocked the occupiers of the historic Generating Station next door. For they were keen to engage positively, and instruct a surveyor, if the proposed development was to go ahead. Because otherwise, the historic asset might be put at risk. And that is the present situation. Ms Finn and Mr Flood have no idea how their excavations may impinge on the Electricity Works, now or in the future.
One can imagine how this may affect the value of The Old Rectory, and/or the Generating Station as a future potential UNESCO World Heritage Site contender.
Any future purchaser of The Old Rectory will not know if their investment was safe from claims. Then, the matter of insurance declarations should be considered, because in order to gain insurance, any future owner would have to declare the party wall situation, or, presumably, their insurance would be invalid. Indeed, Mr Flood and Ms Finn should perhaps notify their insurers, and/or lenders (if any) immediately as to what they have done.
The offer of a free re-submission by Wealden District Council was acted on with application WD/2022/1743/F. The application would be retrospective, the conversion having begun shortly after filing WD/2022/0497/F, even though that application was withdrawn. Thus, when the development began it was unauthorized. Ms Finn and Mr Flood (during the interim period) claiming permitted development rights. But then with the application in July, the applicant's appear to be seeking to regularize the work they claimed was permitted previously.
This application drew comment, in the form of objections from three entities in Lime Park, mostly concerned with conservation issues, but drawing attention to the inaccuracies in the declarations, and the failings on the part of the applicants concerning the Party Wall Act. The was also the matter of loss of amenity, where Ms Finn had before the construction, explored the possibility of planting a row of trees, that would most likely have fallen foul of legislation designed to prevent one neighbour taking the light of another, using fast growing leylandii, or similar trees, shrubs, or hedging.
BALHAM PARK FLATS MANAGEMENT LIMITED
- Company number 01671512
Company type: Private company limited by guarantee without share capital
145 RAVENSLEA ROAD BALHAM LIMITED (05101756)
It is unclear if the Jill Finn shown at Companies House, is the same person now occupying The Rectory in Lime Park. We await clarification from Ms Finn, in the absence of which, we must assume in the positive. We are more than willing to amend details, as advised.
The potting shed is seen here with a corrugated iron roof, painted an orangey-pink colour by Peter Townley. This shed was demolished by the present occupiers, with Advance Space acting on behalf of their clients. The demolition took place without notice.
LINKS & REFERENCE
WORLD HERITAGE SITE - A potential future contender for UNESCO listing, as an example of a major technology gain for mankind, in the utilization of battery-load levelling for public electricity supply. Thought to be the only surviving early example (known) in the whole world. The buildings are the subject of restoration, but at the moment in 2022, do not have a reasonable or beneficial use, to pay for conservation works.