We have a few rules concerning what you need to do if you want to alter your house. We live in a a protected area so some things might be a bit unusual
This page has been designed to help residents who would like to redevelop their property and wish to know how the planning process operates on Northwick Park.
Northwick Park sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty within the jurisdiction of Cotswold District Council. There are no permitted development rights on the Park, and with the presence of both Grade 1 and Grade 2 listed buildings, development is closely monitored and controlled by various outside bodies.
It should be noted that the planning process described in this document exists in addition to, and separate from, those operated by any external authorities and approval from Northwick Park Ltd is required before any alterations are undertaken on the Park. If not sort and work is undertaken, the board will refuse to issue a share certificate on sale of the house, until the work is rectified
The Board has a responsibility in the handling of planning applications from residents, and the approval of these, or otherwise, on behalf of the residents. Generally the board does not withhold approval unless it has just and reasonable cause, but applications will generally be refused if the below is recognised;
These are the criteria upon which applications are judged, and by setting them out in this manner it is hoped that all parties will appreciate that the decision making process is both transparent, and based on the principle of preserving the nature of the estate.
The original planning consents for the redevelopment of Northwick Park were granted only because the developer proposed a low-density plan with a very high standard of design, consistent architecture, and the use of traditional materials and it is the duty of those running the company to uphold these original criteria.
The Board are, however, extremely sensitive to the fact that the planning approval process embroils itself in the rights of (in the main) freehold property owners. As such, there are mechanisms built in to the process which are designed to enable residents to achieve their desired aims, whilst the Park meets its objectives as well.
As will be seen later in the document there are opportunities before the application stage for residents to discuss their plans with the Board and address any potential areas of concern before they are formally submitted.
Furthermore, if a plan is not approved, residents have the right of appeal and a procedure is in place which residents can utilise if they feel their application has not been fairly judged. The appeal procedure is discussed later in the document.
In addition to assessing planning applications the Board is also charged with the enforcement of the covenants concerning development.
In the past there has been a lack of clarity over the action the Board would take in the event of infringements of these covenants.
Firstly it is hoped that this document and the steps described herein will prevent any disputes or infringements occurring.
However, should there be a breach of the planning regulations (and a resident develops without seeking approval, or despite approval being withheld) a warning would be issued within 14 days of the breach being brought to the attention of the Board with notice to rectify the breach within 28 days thereafter.
If the breach is not rectified within that time then an application will be made to the court for an injunction to have a property returned to its original condition, and/or an injunction to prevent further work being carried out.
Recovery of all legal costs associated with enforcing the covenants will, in addition, be claimed from the house-holder in breach.
This action has not been taken in the past (and would be most unwelcome, and hopefully unnecessary in future) but these are the steps the Board would take to protect the interests of the Park and its residents.
During the 20 or so years since the Park’s redevelopment there have only been a few minor infringements of the Northwick Park planning system. Clearly action cannot be taken to deal with these infractions retrospectively. However, any contraventions of the planning criteria made before the publication of this document will not be considered to represent a precedent for any future applications. Having dealt with the background, the document now addresses the specific stages of the planning process. First is the Application Stage.
Stage 1 – Application Stage
Prior to incurring any planning or architects fees residents are advised to sketch out a simple drawing of the project/alterations/extension/building work etc they would like to undertake.
Stage 2 – The formal planning application
Following the initial informal stage, residents should then submit a formal planning application to the Board. This application needs to include the following information;
The Board will acknowledge receipt of the application, and should further information be required it will be requested at this stage.
Stage 4 – The Consultation Stage
Once a full application has been received by the Board it will be circulated to relevant neighbours, and their opinions will be sought and considered by the Board.
Members of the Board will also visit the site and discuss the application with the applicant, if necessary. A copy of the notice that will be sent to neighbours, once feedback has been received from nearby residents and the Board has had time to consider the application, a formal response will be issued.
Stage 4 – The Response Stage
The Board will discuss the proposal and a vote will be held to approve or reject the application. (a majority vote is required for approval, with the Chairman holding the casting vote in the event of a deadlock).
A formal response to all planning applications will be provided by the Board as soon as possible.
Should the application be approved, a notice setting out any relevant conditions will be sent to the applicant together with the Northwick Park building works code of practice.
In all cases the following conditions will be appended to approved applications;
Should the application not be approved, the Board will ask to meet with the resident in question to explain why the application was rejected. The reason(s) why the application was not approved will also be set out in writing.
Residents have the right of appeal, and if they wish to exercise this right they can make it known to the Board at the end of the meeting convened to explain the reason for non-approval. The appeal process is set out in appendix 4.
Last Stage – The Building Code of Practice
Northwick Park Building Works Code of Practice
The right of residents to enhance the value of their properties and quality of life through the development of their properties is fully recognised.
However, any building work undertaken will inevitably cause some inconvenience to neighbours and it is equally recognised that all residents have a right to enjoy a peaceful and quiet life on Northwick Park.
In order to reconcile these opposing interests, the following code of practice has been designed with the intention of helping all parties (residents carrying-out work, their tradesmen, and their neighbours) enjoy a trouble-free time during any project.
The code has six elements:
If you need further information on the planning process or would like copies of the forms. please email