Statement Upheld Planning advice 08-Dec-2021
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council's pre-application advice service. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. The Council has already provided an appropriate response to address the complaint.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 23-Sep-2021
Summary: Mrs X complained the Council gave factually incorrect information about the requirements of the building regulations. The Ombudsman found there was fault causing injustice which the Council agreed to remedy.
Statement Not upheld Planning advice 16-Jul-2021
Summary: The Ombudsman decided it unlikely any investigation would find fault by the Council on Mr H's complaint about its failure to properly advise him about the need to apply for a certificate of lawful development for a 1-metre-high fence and gate to his property and instead, told him to send a full planning application, which it refused. Discretion to not investigate this complaint further was exercised.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 10-May-2021
Summary: Mr X complained about the Council giving incorrect information about his liability to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy. Mr X says because of this, he lost the opportunity to revise his plans and owed the Council a significant sum of money. We find the Council was at fault. While this caused Mr X an injustice, we cannot say this was caused by the actions of the Council alone. In recognition there was also fault by a third-party agent, the Council agreed to reduce the amount payable by Mr X by half and cancel late payment penalties.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 15-Feb-2021
Summary: The Council gave Mr X incorrect information about the potential to convert a property to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). Mr X bought the property and lost out as a result of the Council's error. We recommended the Council meet a proportion of the costs Mr X incurred as a result of the error.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 29-Jan-2021
Summary: Mr B complained the Council failed to address all the issues he raised when providing him with pre-application advice and gave him wrong information. There is no fault in the pre-application planning advice the Council gave. The Council failed to refer the third pre-application advice request to an external officer though which raised Mr B's expectations. An apology is satisfactory remedy. I have not investigated Mr B's concern about how the Council processed his planning applications as he had a right of appeal.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 15-Dec-2020
Summary: Mr B complained about the Council's consideration of planning matters relating to solar panels and sheds he erected on his land. He considered the Council considered them on the wrong planning basis and charged him too much in planning fees. There was fault in the Council's advice which caused injustice to Mr B. The Council will apologise and refund the extra planning fee paid.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 27-Nov-2020
Summary: Mr X complains the Council gave him misleading pre-planning application advice about a proposed extension at a community centre. Mr X said this led him to spend money on a full planning application which the Council subsequently said it would refuse. The Council was at fault for accepting Mr X's pre-planning application without the required information and for failing to keep proper records. It was however Mr X's choice to proceed with a full planning application. The Council agreed to pay Mr X a total of £357.70 to recognise the frustration, uncertainty and time and trouble caused. It also agreed to explain what service improvements it has carried out to prevent recurrence of the faults.
Statement Not upheld Planning advice 24-Sep-2020
Summary: Mrs C complained about the Council's pre-application planning advice which she says led to unnecessary time and expense in pursuing an application which was unlikely to be successful. The Ombudsman has found no evidence of fault by the Council.
Statement Upheld Planning advice 10-Aug-2020
Summary: Mr X complained the Council's pre-application planning advice was incorrect and the Council had not followed procedure. We have found fault causing delays to Mr X's project. The Council has acknowledged some service failures and has agreed to refund Mr X his planning fees. We consider this to be a satisfactory outcome.