A simple Government-backed instruction that any proposed developer should be required to demonstrate that they have the legal right to access and build the development (especially when this has been raised by an objector) or an agreement from the potentially injured party that such legal rights have been negotiated and finalised BEFORE the Planning Dept. expends time and effort on considering/amending/passing the plans, would seem to be enough to protect the general public from these planned "land grabs" and local Councils from wasting precious time and resources.
Although we appreciate the reason why Developers can apply for permission to build on land they do not own, it has unexpected consequences for ordinary citizens. The common practice of building a 1.8 metre boundary fence around the site often prevents the already existing surrounding properties from maintaining their boundary fences, or walls.
Planning authorities have apparently no “Duty of Care” to neighbours and boundary disputes are “a civil matter”, even if the red line site boundary is clearly unrealistic, or even potentially fraudulent. Although we do not expect authorities to know every boundary within their area, if an error is pointed out (with proof) they should not be able to ignore it in favour of what the developer submits.
“It’s a civil matter” means if you cannot afford to fight a developer, or do not know that Planning Permission isn’t the be all and end all, then you lose your land.
A local pensioner is facing using his life savings to ensure a developer cannot use his drive (which is needed for access to the site). We know of five similar cases within a very small area. In another case the red line on the “existing site survey” clearly went through adjoining properties (not just land).
This means that effectively local planning authorities are assisting with illegal land grabs – surely that is not the intention.