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Planning Issues => Planning Applications => Topic started by: midibob on May 18, 2010, 07:16:45 PM



Title: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: midibob on May 18, 2010, 07:16:45 PM
Going past on the train today I noticed the building by the bridge had been demolished. It's been vacant for some years now so it's not surprising.
Does anyone know what will be put in it's place? Flats perhaps, now that would be a change!!

Midibob  8)


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: Admin on May 18, 2010, 08:27:22 PM
EBC application 2008/0035 was approved after some tussling.  Royal Thames House Portsmouth Road Thames Ditton Surrey KT7 0EH Demolition of existing Office (B1) (1881 sqm) and replacement with one block of 4 two storey terraced houses and one block of 5 three storey terraced houses with underground parking and access from Claygate Lane


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: jon99 on April 07, 2013, 06:00:48 PM
The approved plans are for 4 three storey terraced houses on the claygate lane side and 5 three storey terraced houses on the portsmouth road side.

However the developers have built a 5th house on the claygate lane side above the underground car park entrance.
At the moment this property has no planning permission as far as I can assertain but has just reached the point of having the roof put on.

We have been trying for the last 6 months or so to get the council to stop this 5th property being built until it has proper permission but to date they just keep having meetings and are yet to decide what they can do.

Is there anything that can be done as its seems crazy that a property can be built without permission and the council seem powerless to stop it.



Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: mg on April 07, 2013, 08:05:34 PM
Good Luck - if the council can't stop construction companies from building things that they have no planning permission for -  we are all going to Hell in a Handcart.  


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: Keith on April 07, 2013, 11:12:20 PM
Quote from: jon99 on April 07, 2013, 06:00:48 PM
The approved plans are for 4 three storey terraced houses on the claygate lane side and 5 three storey terraced houses on the portsmouth road side.

However the developers have built a 5th house on the claygate lane side above the underground car park entrance.
At the moment this property has no planning permission as far as I can ascertain but has just reached the point of having the roof put on.

We have been trying for the last 6 months or so to get the council to stop this 5th property being built until it has proper permission but to date they just keep having meetings and are yet to decide what they can do.

Is there anything that can be done as its seems crazy that a property can be built without permission and the council seem powerless to stop it.



Welcome to the forum, Jon99.

EBC are notoriously weak on enforcement.  I take it that the developer has been required to submit a retrospective application?  Is there a planning ref?  Have you  approached Karen Randolph on the matter - she would be the natural point of contact as councillor, having followed that particular application from the outset.


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: jon99 on April 08, 2013, 10:06:10 AM
I am not sure if we have been in contact with Karen Randolf , I will check with my other neighbours to see.

I have been dealing with Tom Scriven at Elmbridge planning services.

I dont have any information on planning ref numbers but the last 2 responses I've had from Tom Scriven are :

8 feb 2013 :

In response to your queries I can confirm that no permission has yet been approved for the additional unit at the above site. The developer did submit an application for the additional unit however they didn't include all the required information to validate this application. The application was therefore invalid and has now been returned to the applicant. As a result of this and the prolonged period of time that has been given to the developer to make an application for the development , consideation is being made as to whether to take formal action.

In order to evaluate this a meeting has been arranged with the council's legal department to get advice on the most effective way forward in potentially taking formal enforcement action in this issue . Due to the detailed planning history at this site it is essential that this meeting be undertaken prior to investigating any formal action to ensure that the council is taking the most effective route to resolving this breach in planning control.

In terms of the continuing works on site I can confirm that in previous correspondence with the developer they have been advised that the additional unit is unauthorised. As a result it was requested that they stop work on site. However as they have continued with work this is undertaken at their own risk and is vulnerable to formal enforcement action if the council decides this is the most effective route in resolving this issue.

8 march 2013 :

I am writing to update you on the investigation into the additional house located at the above site (royal thames house portsmouth road thames ditton surrey )

A meeting was undertaken with the council's legal department in order to consider the most appropriate form of enforcement action in this case. As a result of this it was considered that due to the legal complexity of the case it was essential that further formal advice be obtained from a barrister in a private law chamber. Further to this instructions were sent to the barrister to obtain their legal opinion on a number of issues. This response has now been received and I am currently liasing with the legal department to formulate a report for foraml action based on the advice received.

I will update you on this matter further in due course.

thats the last I have heard for now.



Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: Karen Randolph on April 10, 2013, 04:30:01 PM
I agree that the situation on the Royal Thames House site is extremely unsatisfactory.  As I understand it, at the moment there is no application in the pipeline for this 5th unit.  Enforcement officers have been dealing with it, as indicated elsewhere in the forum, but these processes are frustratingly slow and tedious; the procedures themselves which the officers are obliged to follow appear to be excessively lenient towards the ‘perpetrator’, even more so with the recent noises coming out of central government.  
The delay in dealing with this particular case has not been helped by the delay in filling the vacancy at the head of the enforcement team.  There is now a new head of enforcement at Elmbridge Council.   I have spoken to this officer (he has only been in situ for 2 weeks) today.  This issue is one of his main priorities - he is taking an overview of the whole of the situation up to now and will be deciding on the next steps when the officer dealing with it until now returns from leave this week.  I will do my best to hurry it along and keep in touch with what is going on.   


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: Karen Randolph on April 24, 2013, 07:17:34 PM
I have had a meeting with the Enforcement Manager at Elmbridge today.  A lot of work has obviously been put into this case - the file is 3" thick.  Officers have recently attended the site and as a result further issues have become apparent.  These need to be assessed fully by legal experts to ensure that they are taken into account should the Council take formal enforcement action.  

I can't say anything else at this stage but will keep the Forum updated with what information I can.



Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: Dictun Mearc on December 11, 2013, 12:22:33 PM
I note that an enforcement notice has now finally been registered against this development:

'Withouth Planning Permission, operations consisting of the construction of ten 3-storey town houses, foundations, undercroft parking and basements
i. Demolish the 10 unauthorised units and associated underground car parking basements; and
ii. Remove from the land all building materials and rubble arising from compliance with requirement (i) within 9 Months'


The one extra house that they've built means that the whole development is in breach of planning permission, and will have to be demolished (unless they appeal, which I'm sure they will).  Sounds quite harsh, but they knew the risks......


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: Redders on December 15, 2013, 08:32:20 PM
Demolish, what look to be very well built and to a high spec houses, can't be the option.

The cost of knocking these down, and taking all the waste to landfill is scandalous especially in this day and age.

Fine the developer, confiscate the properties, and put right the issues seem better options.


One thing, copper gutters and down pipes, they look great, but wonder how long they will last!


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: BlueSky on December 15, 2013, 11:06:11 PM
Yes fine the developer, make it affordable - the townhouse could be split into flats maybe.

Yes, it's not a bad looking building 


Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: jon99 on December 23, 2013, 01:01:31 PM
I have just received this letter from Elmbridge Borough Council :

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Appeal under Section 174

Appeals by Giggs Hill Green Homes Ltd
Site Address : Royal Thames House , Portsmouth Road , Thames Ditton , Surrey KT70EH

Alleged Breach : Without planning permission : operations consisting of the construction of ten 3-storey town houses , foundations , undercroft parking and basements.

The Planning Inspectorate Appeal Ref : APP/K3605/C/13/2210270
Appeal Starting Date                            : 13th December 2013

I am writing to let you know that the above appeal has been made to the Secretary of State in respect of the
above breach of devolpment. The appeal is against an enforcement notice issued by the Council and will be
decided on the basis of written representations. The procedure to be followed is set out in the Town and 
Country Planning (Enforcement)(Written Representations Procedure) (England) Regulations 2002.

The enforcement notice was issued for the following reasons :

It appears to the council that the above breach of planning control has occurred within the last four years.

The works were commenced in November 2010 and are still on-going today.
They are not yet substantially complete.

On 27 May 2008, planning permission was granted on appeal (APP/K3605/A/08/2062919) for " .. demolition of
existing offices and erection of nine 3 storey residential units with basement parking at Royal Thames House,
Portsmouth Road , Thames Ditton, in accordance with the terms of the application Ref. 2007/2165 dated 10 
August 2007, and the plans submitted .. "

The works that have been carried out relate to the development of 10 residential units, not the 9 permitted and
do not accord with the submitted plans ( foundations and piling are not as approved and basements and car 
parking areas extend significantly beyond what was approved).

Enforcement action is required because the Coubcil does not consider that it is appropriate to permit this
development to proceed without planning permission. Local authorities have an administrative duty to control
development in the public interest, particularly where the development has impacts that require mitigation and
which gives rise to collection of the Council's Community Infastructure Levy (CIL).

The National Planning Policy Framework advises (at paragraph 207 ) that, "effective enforcement is important
as a means of maintaining public confidence in the planning system". The Commissioner for Local
Administration (the local ombudsman) has held, in a number of investigated cases, that there is
"maladministration" if the local planning authority fails to take enforcement action which is plainly necessary.

In deciding whether it is expedient to take enforcement action the Council must regard to the provisions of the
Development Plan and to any other material considerations.

In the absence of an express grant of planning permission for the development the Council will be unable to
collect CIL in accordance with Core Stratergy Policy CS28 and the Council's Developer Contributions SPD (the
Council has adopted a CIL tariff of £125 per sqm (net internal floor space) for all new residential development).
It would be unacceptable for the Council's CIL to be avoided by unauthorised development.

Similarly, Policy CS21 of the Coucil's Core Stratergy requires that development resulting in 6-14 residential
dwellings should provide 30% on-site affordable housing. The unauthorised development is for 10 units but fails to make provision towards affordable housing in contravention of Policy CS21.

The unauthorised development that has been carried out may have adverse impacts for future residents and
occupiers of neighbouring properties due to the potential impact from/on flooding as a result of the unauthorised
underground car parking and basements contrary to Core Stratergy CS26.

Necessary pre-development appraisals and analyses (possible flooding,contamination,harm to amenity of 
occupiers) have not been carried out in respect of the unauthorised development, and it will not be possible to
control the development to adequately mitigate its impacts without an express grant of planning consent and the imposition of conditions.

The enforcement notice requires the following steps to be taken :

1. Demolish the 10 unauthorised units and associated underground car parking and basements; and
2. Remove form the Land all building materials and rubble arising from compliance with (1)

The appellant has appealed against the notice on the following grounds :

(b) That the breach of control alleged in the enforcemnet notice has not occured as a matter of fact
(f) The steps required to comply with the requirements of the notice are excessing, and lesser steps would
     overcome the objections.
(g) That the time given to comply with the notice is too short.

The enforcement notice was issued on the 15th November, with an effective date of the 20th December 2013.
The appellant has been given 9 months from the effective date in order to complete steps 1 and 2 above.

If you wish to make comments, you can do so on the Planning Portal at www.planningportal.gov.uk/pcs
If you do not have access to the internet, you can send three copies to : Lee Richards, The Planning
Inspectorate, Room 3/26 , Temple Quay House , 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

All representations must be received by 24th January 2014. Any representations submitted after the deadline
will not usually be considered and will be returned. The Planning Inspectorate does not acknowledge
representations. All representations must quote the appeal reference as stated at the top of this letter.

PLease note that any representations you submit to the Planning Inspectorate will be copied to the appellants
and this local planning authority and will be considered by the Inspector when determining the appeal.

If you sumbit comments and the subsequently wish to withdraw them, you should make this request to the
Planning Inspectorate by the date above.

All appeal documents, including the appeal form, grounds of appeal, the enforcement notice and all other 
statements are available for inspection at these offices between 8.45am and 5.00 pm.

You can get a copy of one of the Planning Inspectorate's "Guide to taking enforcement appeals" free to
download from the Planning Portal at : www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/pins/takingpart enforcement-
written.pdf

When made the decision will be published on the Planning Portal.



Title: Re: Old Diary Crest building in Portsmouth Road
Post by: jon99 on October 21, 2014, 01:05:27 PM
Appeal Decision 

Site visit made on 9 September 2014 
by D A Hainsworth LL.B(Hons) FRSA Solicitor
an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 

Decision date: 21 October 2014

Appeal Ref: APP/K3605/C/13/2210270

Royal Thames House, Portsmouth Road, Thames Ditton, Surrey KT7 0EH 

• The appeal is made by Giggs Hill Green Homes Ltd under section 174 of the Town and 
Country Planning Act 1990 against an enforcement notice (ref: INV/2012/0373) issued 
by Elmbridge Borough Council on 15 November 2013. 
• The breach of planning control alleged in the notice is “operations consisting of the 
construction of ten 3-storey town houses, foundations, undercroft parking and 
basements”. 
• The requirements of the notice are as follows: - 
“(i) Demolish the 10 unauthorised units and associated underground car parking 
and basements; and 
(ii) Remove from the Land all building materials and rubble arising from compliance 
with requirement (i).” 
• The period for compliance with these requirements is nine months. 
• The appeal is proceeding on the grounds set out in section 174(2)(b), (f) and (g). 
Application for costs 
1. The appellants’ application for costs against the Council is dealt with by a 
separate decision. 
Appeal decision 
2. It is directed that the enforcement notice be varied by replacing paragraph 5(i) 
by: - 
“(i) Make the operations comply with the terms (including the conditions 
and limitations) of the planning permission granted on 27 May 2008 
(Application Ref. 2007/2165; Appeal Ref. APP/K3605/A/08/2062919); 
and” 
and by replacing “9 MONTHS” in paragraph 6 by “12 MONTHS”. 
3. The appeal is dismissed and the enforcement notice is upheld as varied by the 
directions. 
Reasons for the appeal decision 
Ground (b) 
4. Planning permission was granted on 27 May 2008 for development consisting 
of the demolition of the existing offices and the erection of nine three-storey 
residential units with basement parking (Application Ref. 2007/2165; Appeal Appeal Decision APP/K3605/C/13/2210270 
2
Ref. APP/K3605/A/08/2062919). Nine conditions were imposed. Condition 1) is 
the normal three-year time limit for the commencement of development. 
Condition 9) states “Development shall not begin until a scheme to deal with 
contamination of the site has been submitted to and approved in writing by the 
local planning authority” and “Development shall not begin until measures 
approved in the scheme have been implemented”. 
5. The basis of the appellants’ ground (b) appeal is that the breach of planning 
control alleged in the notice has not occurred as a matter of fact, due to the 
work involved in the construction of the tenth unit commencing after the 
implementation of the permission for the construction of the nine units. They 
agree there has been a breach, but do not accept that it is the one described in 
the notice, their contention being that the breach is “simply the erection of one 
additional dwellinghouse and the formation of an enlarged area of basement 
accommodation”. 
6. I consider that the following conclusions should be drawn from the facts and 
from the case law to which my attention has been drawn and the further cases 
about which I consulted the parties: - 
(a) Work on site began in 2010 and by 27 May 2011 the demolition of the 
existing offices had been completed and piling mats had been laid. 
(b) The pre-commencement conditions have all been complied with, since the 
pre-commencement elements of Condition 9 have been met to the extent 
required by the Council. 
(b) Much of the work carried out is as depicted on the approved plans, but the 
basement area is a lot larger than shown, and now incorporates basement 
accommodation, and the Claygate Lane terrace has been built with an 
additional unit over the entrance to the basement parking area. These are 
substantial changes, which have all been made during the course of a 
continuous process of work, and they raise issues relevant to planning, 
including assessments of flood risk and land contamination and standards 
of residential amenity. 
(c) In deciding whether the work carried out is authorised, I am to look at what 
has been done as a whole and reach a judgement as a matter of fact and 
degree on that whole. Looked at in this way, in my planning judgement the 
work that has been carried out is so different from what was approved that 
it does not constitute the implementation of the 2008 permission. 
(d) It follows that the matters alleged in the notice to be a breach of planning 
control have occurred. The appeal on ground (b) has therefore failed. 
Ground (f) 
7. The appellants maintain that the requirement to demolish all ten units and the 
underground car parking and basements is excessive. They consider that a 
requirement to demolish the tenth unit and infill the extended parts of the 
basement, so that the development would conform with the permission, is all 
that is necessary. The Council have doubts about the efficacy of this approach. 
As they have pointed out, requirements directed only at the differences could Appeal Decision APP/K3605/C/13/2210270 
3
lead to an unconditional planning permission being granted under s173(11) 
once the requirements had been complied with. 
8. The requirements of the notice would result in the loss of nine residential units, 
which appear to have been built substantially in accordance with the plans 
approved in 2008, apart from the basement accommodation. Their demolition 
is an outcome that should be avoided unless there are no other means of 
remedying the breach of planning control. 
9. The enforcement procedure is intended to be remedial. When work is carried 
out that differs substantially from approved plans, with the result that the 
development as a whole is unauthorised, provision is made by section 
173(4)(a) for the breach of planning control to be remedied by making the 
development comply with the terms (including conditions and limitations) of 
the permission. Condition 1) does not in my opinion prevent the adoption of 
this approach in this instance and there should be no difficulty in compliance, 
since the differences between the work carried out and what was authorised 
are clear-cut and the work needed to make the development comply with the 
permission has already been identified. 
10. I have therefore varied the first requirement of the notice so that it requires 
the development to comply with the permission. The appeal has succeeded on 
ground (f) to this extent. 
Ground (g) 
11. The request for a longer compliance period now needs to be dealt with in the 
light of this variation. I have extended the period from nine months to twelve 
months, firstly, because the work required is now more complex and, secondly, 
because the appellants’ representations indicate that a further planning 
application, or applications, may be submitted and sufficient time should be 
allowed for this to be done and the decision-making process to take place. The 
appeal has therefore succeeded on ground (g) to this extent. 


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