I hope you can help me and some 22 other owners of chalets on Bovisand Parks.We all applied and were successful in obtaining planning permission for holiday only use for the twelve months of the year, rather than the ten months previously allowed.Up until that point we had received a Class G rebate. If at the point of receiving Planning Consent we could have received the removal of the Closed Period restriction we would have happily forgone the rebate. But it was discovered only recently the although giving us Planning Permission South Hams Council on selling the land and chalets to Bovisand Park Ltd had put a restrictive covenant on the Title Deed. The Covenant states:Not to allow any chalets or bungalows to be used for overnight accommodation in the period 6 January to 1 March inclusive in any year (save for up to two wardens chalets subject to the Transferee first having obtained planning consent permitting the occupation of the relevant chalets as wardens accommodation during this period.So in effect we still are unable to occupy our properties overnight during the Closed Period.I assumed the removal of the rebate was an oversight and contacted the Council, their reply was.;From a planning perspective the Council has agreed that year round holiday occupancy is generally acceptable. As the planning process is based on national legislation, the previous planning restrictions restricting occupation of the chalets to certain times of the year enabled council tax relief to be granted.While the planning constraints have been relaxed for a number of the chalets, the land ownership controls between Bovisand Park and the Council remains in place. The covenant relates to land owning interests and this is not specifically governed by an act of parliament. Therefore the Council does not appear to have any discretion to determine whether council tax discounts can be offered.I understand your concerns about the loss of the council tax discount and the apparent difference between the planning position and the private land interests, but I hope that this response clarifies the Council’s corporate position. However, if you are dissatisfied with my understanding of the situation, I can only suggest that you seek independent legal advice on how best that you address the concerns you raise.I have always understood that the legislation regarding rebates was discretionary. Surely the law regarding enforcement of a covenant is governed by an act of parliament. I would be grateful for your advice on these matters.Des Glover
Province/Country relating to question : South Hams, DEvon
Writing to the Council Director pointing out the unfairness of his decision. Writing to Eric Pickles, no reply as yet. Contacting Land registry regarding the legal basis of enforcing covenants and did it spring from Parliament,they do not discuss such matters. Spoke to Local Authorities Ombudsman, have no juristiction of issues of rebates.Contacted Which Legal, not covered in their remit.
Thanks for your question. Please remember to rate my answer SMILEY FACE OR ABOVE so that I am credited for my time.So for you this is a council tax issue, is that right?
In the longer term I want to get the covenant changed but I know that to achieve this I have to get a majority of owners to agree to a Company approach because the Council has the relationship only with the Management Company, Bovisand Park Ltd, owned by the owners and not with the individual owners themselves,( other than to collect tax).
My immediate requirement is to get the rebate restored.
As you know this exemption only applies if the property is unfinished and unoccupied.Exemptions are controlled by acts of parliament. The council has no discretion in relation to it. It either qualifies or does not qualify.However if you were subject to an exemption before permission and this has now changed, it may be that it is because of the Town and country planning act 1990If you disagree with the decision then you must appeal to the valuation tribunal.If they find in your favour, then you will get and council tax paid refunded.But legally, you can only overturn the decision via the valuation tribunal. They can consider representations from you and the council and decide whether you are entitled to an exemption.You are correct as to the covenant, it is for the beneficiary of the covenant to remove it,I am sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were expecting but based on what you have said, it will be the valuation tribunal to decide on your exemption. Please remember to click *** SMILEY FACE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. Thank you. Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
Well no because the class g exemption can be Reliant upon the planning.This means if it changed and fell out of the exemption then it can not now be relied upon.Therefore change of use - may mean exemption is not applicable any more.If you stay then at worst the council could get an injunction to stop you. If you breached the injunction it would be a civil matter but you could be sent to prison for contempt of court. Please remember to click *** SMILEY FACE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. Thank you. Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
Since the Council who gave the planning permission is the same council that imposed the covenant do they not have a duty of care before taking ratepayers money in the form of fees and granting the right to occupy during a period which they know, or should have known, would only result in the ratepayer loosing a subsidy with no gain what so ever?
At worse this is financial gain by deceipt and at best pure incompetence.
Thursday, June 28, 2012 7:40 AM EST
Do they have a duty no.This is because an application for change of permission is an application in its own right.It would be for the person making the application to carry out any due diligence they thought was necessary.Therefore in this case it is not the Council that is liable.I am sorry if this is not the answer you are looking for but based on what you have said, this is the legal position. Please remember to click *** SMILEY FACE *** or above so that I am credited for my time. Thank you. Important: If you feel the need to rate as one of the lower two scores, it counts as negative feedback so please reply to me via the REPLY with any further questions you may have. I will be happy to assist you further.
Called to the Bar in 2007
I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?UK-Justice
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).