Thursday, 31 May 2012

Planning Department - A Law unto Themselves

One of our planning conditions was to achieve Code 4 of Sustainable Homes which I won't knock because the intentions are good but there's no differentiating between the solo builder and the developers, we are all treated the same.
Canterbury City Council have a policy of requiring Code 4 where other neighbouring councils ask for Code 3 and some councils don't ask for any. This all works on a points system divided into categories such as energy efficiency, water usage, materials, waste etc etc. We reach Code 4 on many of these areas but when totalled up just come short and in order for us to get all the points required we would have to spend a whole lot of money that we can't afford on a heat pump so we have applied to the council to vary the condition to allow us to build to Code 3.

The decision should have been made yesterday but can we get an answer from the council? For the last few weeks I have been trying to call the case officer for this application & all I ever get is a recorded message saying that she's on extended leave until April - it's now May! When I speak to anyone else at the council they tell me that she is now back at work but on light duties working only Wednesday & Friday mornings so I call every Wednesday & Friday morning & still only get the recorded message... aaaargh!!!!

We are now a day past decision date & are still none the wiser, how is it that they get away with treating people like this? It is so frustrating & inconsiderate. Phew that's better, I've got that off my chest!!


  1. Something similar happened to us and we escalated it to the head of planning. Got the response we wanted in 48 hours and our money back! Try that route. It's not your fault the case officer is unable to do their job in the timescales quoted.

    1. Thank you for that, I'm impressed you managed to get money back from them!
      Going to make every effort to get through to someone who can actually do something today.