Town & Country Planning:Planning Law exercise

Planning Law exercise. This will involve your giving succinct advice to a non-planner on the legal and procedural aspects of an everyday problem associated with land and development.

The brief:

A friend has written to you for advice about an idea she has for erecting a wind-turbine in the rear garden of her house. She lives in a 1930s suburban semi-detached house with what she describes as ‘a big garden’, in a South Wales town. She’s hoping to put a wind turbine in his back garden – ‘just the one, just enough for my own needs’. Her initial thought is that it will be some 10 metres from her house and ‘not too close’ to the neighbours (she has no rear lane, and the garden is surrounded by other gardens). 
‘Will I need planning permission?’ she asks.
This is the only information supplied in the letter. It may not be enough for a definitive answer to her question, but you do want to be helpful to your friend. So, write a short note (1000 words) for her that :

1. Says whether planning permission will be required, or tells her that she has not given you enough information to reach a definitive answer
2. Sets out the circumstances under which planning permission would not be required (ie permitted development rights would apply), but does so in a way that is helpful for a non-expert : i.e. do not simply reproduce the GPDO.
3. Sets out some of the procedural issues relating to planning applications, just in case an application is needed. In particular, a) Does the application need to be made by your friend herself, or can a wind-turbine supplier make it? (b) What stages is the application likely to go through within a local council (i.e. what process do most planning applications for small development go through before a decision is reached) ? (c) What if she is unhappy with the decision of the council; what can she do? (rights of appeal, for example) (d) Is there a practical argument for not worrying about planning permission and simply doing what he wants without even considering the legal position – how likely is it that a breach of planning is discovered?

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