change of use, keepers cover, weston on the green
MDP developed a 3-step planning strategy implemented over 2 years in order to regularise an unlawful Change of Use that was tied up in a historic legal (Section 106) agreement tied to the property but which was missed during conveyancing.
The site is in the Oxford Green Belt, in the village of Weston on the Green, near Bicester. The client discovered that the land which was purchased on the assumption is was garden land was in fact tied into a burdensome s106 agreement that meant only a small 1.5m strip of the garden was formally registered as land for use as private amenity. The rest of the one acre garden was classed as agricultural land. Naturally the clients wanted to rectify this and remove this 40 year old agreement in order to give them the security and ownership they desired.
MDP advised from the outset of the steps involved and the risks and navigated a complex process of applications to ensure the submissions were solid and could withstand the Local Authority scrutiny. The applications were initially refused (as was expected in the circumstances), however a strategic 3-way connected appeal was finally submitted to optimise the chance of success.
Throughout the 2 year process, MDP managed the team of professionals including architects and lawyers to ensure the most robust argument was provided and the legal constraint on the land could be lifted.
The appeal was ultimately successful, on one of the three grounds, and the land was released from the Oxfordshire Greenbelt and transferred to being legally defined as land to be used for private residential purposes. This proved to be a great source of relief for the client (and the conveyancing lawyer!).