State of the Moratorium on new residential properties in West Wirral - Update

by Nick 9. February 2013 17:28

In July 2011 we prepared a blog titled 'the State of the Moratorium on new residential properties in West Wirral' (see our website

Our blog followed an enquiry from a client looking into the possibility of obtaining planning permission for a single dwelling on a substantial plot of land within their garden.

The plot obtained a planning approval in the past which had lapsed.

Over the last 18 months we have followed progress of the Interim Housing Policy, which had become known as the moratorium. In this time there have been numerous reports that the policy would be lifted. We have now been advised by the Planning department that the Policy was lifted, with immediate effect, in October 2012.

Opening the door on development

As a region we need to be conscious that this does not lead to the same over development on small plots that occurred prior to the policy coming into place, however it could open the door to the development of suitably sized plots of land that have been on hold since 2005.

This will have impact on various forms of residential development across Wirral and we have been approached by a number of clients looking to revisit the development of garden plots for one off houses. We have discussed these potential sites with the Planning department and been advised that garden plots are now considered suitable for development. Each case will be reviewed on its own merits an in relation to the Planning Policies. The impact on neighbouring properties will have to be considered particularly in relation to overlooking and loss of light.

Obtaining Planning Permission for a garden plot.

For anyone looking to develop a garden plot we would advise that the Planning Department is approached at an early stage to establish the likelihood 'in principle' of obtaining a permission.

Following this initial enquiry there are two approaches to submitting an application:

• Outline Planning submission

• Full Planning submission

The choice of application will be based on your aspirations for the site:

Do you want to obtain Planning Permission for a property of a particular size and type in order safeguard the future potential for the site?

Do you want to design and develop a property for yourselves?

Outline Planning Applications

This enables the applicant to submit for Planning at an early stage without the costs associated with a fully designed building. An outline application is submitted with limited details and could be as straightforward as providing the following information:

• Location Plan indicating the proposed site in relation to surrounding properties and roads.

• A plan to show the footprint of the property within the site.

• Indicative elevations showing proposed heights of the property in relation to neighbours.

• Completed application form including a description of the proposal.

• An application fee to the Local Authority.

The level of information required for an Outline Application will vary and be specific to the site. It is best to discuss the requirements with the Local Authority prior to submission.

Following the approval of an Outline application a 'reserved matters' application must being submitted within three years.

This will approve the details not included in the outline submission and may include:

Appearance, Means of access, Landscaping, Layout and Scale

Full Planning Applications

A Full Planning Application will require the design of the property to be completed at the time of submission.

This will include materials, layout, window positions, appearance, scale, access landscaping and possibly more depending on the proposal.

An approval will relate specifically to the design submitted. As a result the design stage for a full application is longer and professional fees will be higher.

Once approved construction must start within 3 years for the approval to remain valid.

For both Outline and Full Plans Applications we would always recommend that clients discuss their proposals with neighbours prior to submission. An understanding of the proposals will often allay any concerns that neighbours may have and carefully considered and considerate design can enhance the appearance of an area.


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