Planning in Moor Park
Moor Park (1958) Limited owns roads, verges and woodland areas and is the beneficiary of the restrictive covenants attached to all freehold properties on the estate.
By virtue of the covenants, owners are required to apply for consent from Moor Park (1958) Limited (the Company) when they are contemplating any rebuilding, extensions or other work that alters the external appearance of the property.
Permission from the Company is required for:
- Any extension, development or other work that alters the external appearance of your house (this includes any proposal to add air conditioning or solar panels).
- Changing your front drive or the proportion of hard surface/garden area in front of your property.
- Any proposed modifications, however minor, to the verges or crossovers outside your front boundary specifically require approval as these areas are owned by Moor Park (1958) Ltd.
Consents for property development by the Company are in addition to planning approvals required by Three Rivers District Council. As a result of Moor Park being a Conservation Area, Three Rivers District Council planning approval is required for many small developments that might be included within permitted developments elsewhere in the country. In addition, Conservation Area status requires that any felling or pruning of trees with a girth in excess of 75mm at 1.5m above ground level requires approval from Three Rivers District Council.
Owners, Architects and developers should be aware of the planning guidance within Moor Park, which is explained in the Moor Park Conservation Area Appraisal.
Three Rivers District Council encourages the use of their pre-application advice service ahead of any formal planning application, which the Company strongly supports. Information can be found at: www.threerivers.gov.uk/default.aspx/Web/Pre-Application-Stage
You may also discuss development proposals with the Company’s Planning Consultant. He will provide advice within the context of the Conservation Area Appraisal and other guidelines that govern development in Moor Park, but you should be aware that any advice or opinions expressed will be without prejudice to the final decision which will be made by the Directors of the Company after the submission of a definitive application. There is a standard charge which covers the Planning Consultant’s costs.
At the same time as submitting a planning application to Three Rivers District Council, an owner must submit their plans with a viewing fee to the Company. The viewing fee paid to the Company is in addition to fees payable to TRDC. If an owner does not send their plans to the Company, we will be notified of the application by Three Rivers District Council. The company will comment on the plans as part of the statutory planning procedures administered by the Council who make the final decision on each application with reference to the Conservation Area Appraisal in particular, and approval from the company to extensions or alterations to a property is a requirement under the deeds and covenants of Moor Park (1958) Ltd. We actively encourage anyone looking to submit a planning application to contact the office and arrange a meeting with the Estate’s planning advisor. If this is not possible, we would highly recommend that, when drawing up your proposals, either you or your architect (or ideally both) closely study the guidance and parameters as set out in the current version of the Moor Park Conservation Area Appraisal, especially paragraphs 3.1 – 3.13, as we believe this to be very helpful. The board of MP58 are keen to ensure that we work together with members to ensure a straightforward planning process, and Three Rivers District Council planners are likely to be sympathetic to any scheme with our endorsement. The formal letter of approval should be passed over to prospective purchasers when selling the property.
Moor Park is a beautiful and peaceful area and the restrictions on building are designed to preserve the estate in the best interests of all of its residents.
Viewing Fees and Building Levies
Before any development work can begin, the owner is required to pay to the Company a viewing fee, to examine a planning application and provide comments to Three Rivers District Council and a building levy once planning permission has been granted.
The purpose of the building levy is to protect the Estate’s roads and verges from damage caused by contractors and their vehicles and to ensure compliance with the conditions of the consent.
For larger developments, an element of the building levy is retained as a contribution to general road damage caused by lorries.
The Company will send the owner a letter requesting the levy amount. See link. On receipt of the funds, the Company will issue its formal consent to the development, which also provides the conditions and requirements related to building operations, which a builder must comply with during the development. The owner should keep the formal consent letter for future reference as they may need to provide it to any future purchasers of the property.
Once building work has been completed, the owner should notify the Company. A Company Director will inspect the surrounding roads and verges. If no damage has been caused or if damage has been rectified to the satisfaction of the Company, the refundable portion of the building levy will be returned to the owner less any fees for non-compliance that may have been assessed. If on inspection there is damage, a suitable amount will be deducted from any refund to pay for the repair of the damage. Applications for a refund must be made within three years of the date of the approval letter and within six months of the work being completed. After these dates, any deposit balances are forfeited.