the prior application ‘Notification of larger home extension

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Hi Everyone,

I wonder if anyone can help me with this situation.

I employed a professional architect to apply on my behalf for a six metre extension on the 02/12/2013 by sending the drawings and 42 days’ notice application as ‘Notification of larger home extension to the council by email to one of their email address.

After the 42 days passed we didn’t hear any reply from the council regarding the six metre extension. Based on the 42 day notice policy the architect decided that I should start building the extension. He backed his statement up by referencing the planning portal website. I started the building work up until half of the project was completed.

Now the council is stating that they have not received the application that the architect sent for the six metre extension. The architect explained to me that he has proof that he did in fact sent the e-mail to the council.
We had a meeting with the case officer regarding this. She said that she did not receive the application for the 6 meter extension. She also said that the email address my architect used to send the application through to the council is considered not received because the council use that email address for a specific application. The architect should have sent it to the other email address. Anyway the council is not accepting my application. My architect said if the council do not consider my email received which I sent on the 02/12/2013 to one of their email then we have no other choice other than to reapply again.

I reapply again now the council saying you cannot apply for this type of extension because you have already started the work on extension. I am not applying for a complete extension as a retrospective application. I am only saying this is a terrible mistake from my architect which has my family and my two side neighbours been suffering as a result. I have only done the foundation and built one wall on one side. The extension is open and one pillar is 660mm in the middle to support the steel lintel.

Now my home is a construction site for the past 7 months I can’t do anything. The council is refusing this again on the base of that I already start the work. I don’t know where to go from here. I spent a lot of money and living through hell for the pass 7 month. My neighbours have no problem with my extension. Please someone help I will be much appreciate.

Thank you for your help.
 
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Your architect is a complete and utter knob, not getting an acknowledgement or receipt of any application is completely unprofessional.
 
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Usually, LPAs do acknowledge applications and Notices, whether sent in by post or email. The fact that it was not acknowledged by the council should have set alarm bells ringing with your architect.

You cannot apply retrospectively under the prior notification scheme. Best you could do is submit a normal planning application and see what happens.

Ultimately, your agent would be responsible if he advised you that you can start work if you have not heard from the council within the 42-day period.
 
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After the 42 days passed we didn’t hear any reply from the council regarding the six metre extension. Based on the 42 day notice policy the architect decided that I should start building the extension. He backed his statement up by referencing the planning portal.

Section 6
If the local authority does not notify the developer of its decision within the 42-day determination period, the development may go ahead.

The architect say that he has send the email he got the proof of it. the council cannot deny not received.
The architect did send the notice and drawing to the council but as far as the council is concern they said the architect should not send it to this email. I don’t know what to do and where to turn to. I am very prostrated and depress about it. It affects my family life.
 
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The architect did send the notice and drawing to the council but as far as the council is concern they said the architect should not send it to this email. I don’t know what to do and where to turn to..

Then check the situation for yourself. Have a look on the council's planning web site and see what their email address is for submission. Then compare it with the email address the architect used.
 
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Yes it is a different email address on the council web site for submission. But the email address still from the planning department. One is planning and the other one is planningwest. But they are going to the same department. The case officer know about that email but she said why did you send to that email address. She said sending the prier 42 days’ notice application as ‘Notification of larger home extension to this email is consider not received by the council.

ok now i send it to the correct email address now she is refusing it on the base that i have already start the work. you can not start the work before the application. she did not say anything on the meeting when she refuse my full application. i don't know what she is playing. i thing my architact made a terrible mistack and she grab on it. do you think i should take the half builded extension down and replay again. or if this is the end of my larger extension. my neighbour is ok with extension.
 
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ok now i send it to the correct email address now she is refusing it on the base that i have already start the work. she said you can not start the work before the application. she did not say anything on the meeting when she refuse my full application. i don't know what she is playing. i thing my architact made a terrible mistack and she grab on it. do you think i should take the half builded extension down and replay again. or if this is the end of my larger extension. my neighbour is ok with extension.
 
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If the planning officer admitted that she saw the original email, then perhaps you could argue with them that they should have dealt with it - and whoever initially received the email should have had the common sense to pass it on to the correct department.

As an alternative approach; take down the half-built extension to a couple of courses below ground (leaving the foundations in but covering them wth earth). Then re-do the prior notification application, and hope your neighbour doesn't object. After thhe 42 days is up, and assuming there have been no objections, you would be good to go.
.
 
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The rules are that you cannot apply retrospectively ie after you've started building. With respect to using the wrong email address legally I'm not sure how that stacks up but bottom line is your architect cocked up, you can bleat all you like but that's the crux of it, the planners are right.

I would be seriously considering taking legal advice to be honest. This is why architects need PI insurance.

Anyway your options seem pretty limited, either apply for planning permission for what you are proposing or knock it down and start again. And sue the architect for the cost. And sack him!
 
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Thank you freddymercuryswin

Do you know where do I have to go for legal advice on the building side I mean any solicitor dealing with this or do have to go for a specific solicitor.
i don't know about this. it all to new for me. if any one can help that will be great
 
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Well a solicitor who specialises in negligence I would suppose. They may say any claim would fail, who knows!
 
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http://www.architecture.com/Files/RIBAProfessionalServices/ProfessionalConduct/DisputeResolution/PracticalMatters/DisputeResolution.pdf

That's fine but not all architects are RIBA registered or bound by their codes of professional conduct, the architect could be MCIAT.
 
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http://www.architecture.com/Files/RIBAProfessionalServices/ProfessionalConduct/DisputeResolution/PracticalMatters/DisputeResolution.pdf

That's fine but not all architects are RIBA registered or bound by their codes of professional conduct, the architect could be MCIAT.
No the MCIAT is for technicians not architects. It is true though that an architect does not need to register with the RIBA though they rarely are not and we do not know if the OPs architect is even an architect. If he is though he must be in the ARB to trade as an architect.
 
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The architect say that he has send the email he got the proof of it. the council cannot deny not received [and, according to your later information, openly admit to having received it].
By "proof", I assume he means some sort of automatic acknowledgement fired out by the council when the email was received? If that is the case then I cannot see how they can claim they did not receive it. You have notified them and they have failed to properly handle it. The fact one hand of your local authority does not speak to the other is not your fault, and sadly very, very commonplace. "Sorry, it's not my job" is just the other side of "It's more than my job is worth", and as someone who works in local government I can assure you that this sector employs a lot of those people. It is even more bizarre that they are claiming this when both emails addresses you mention are in the same planning department!

On a side note if they have mishandled or admitted to losing your information then you should write to their information compliance officer asking for an investigation of a potential breach of the DPA. Based on the outcome you could consider making a complaint with the ICO. As they have received the information but not handled it correctly then that is considered a serious failing. Imagine for a moment that instead of a planning application you had notified them of an "at risk" child, who was later injured due to their negligence. You do not need to deal with specific departments or officers, nor are you expected to understand the inner structures of local authorities - you are entitled to deal with the organisation as a single body.

i don't know what [the case officer] is playing
Quite rightly local authorities are under pressure to make significant cost savings for a few more years yet in order to provide somewhere close to being value for money. Quite wrongly the chief executives of local authorities (on £150k+ salaries plus expenses) make those savings by cutting in-demand or useful services instead of removing pointless and expensive middle management (each on £40k+ per year plus £20k in employer costs). You don't take the wheels off your gravy train - you throw the passengers off instead. Your case officer is looking after her own job by trying to generate income from you.

Without knowing the full circumstances, and without any indemnification insurance, I can only advise as others have that you seek qualified (and insured) legal advice before acting. There is a correct way to do things and the right way to do things - which are not always the same. Confrontation with people with power over your daily life is not something to be taken lightly, even if you are legally, logically and ethically entitled to so.

As an individual in your situation I might however choose to lodge a complaint with the council through their publicised channels and write to the information compliance officer at their town hall address regarding the data mishandling. I'd probably notify the case officer that I was making a complaint about the mishandling of my personal data as well. Then, after ensuring that I had possession of the proof of original delivery and acknowledgement by the officer that she had seen it but decided to ignore it, I would continue to build my lawful extension and simply refer any attempt at enforcement by the local authority to the appropriate solicitor.
 

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