A shedful of tears


60 Seconds: A shedful of tears


First, may we all at Curtin&Co wish you a very happy and peaceful Christmas, and may your request to Santa come true, like…

–    Politicians to stop meddling in the planning system and a huge simplification;
–    An urgent review of Green Belt policies – it has grown rather than shrunk over the past decades although the population has boomed;
–    Etc, etc, etc.
–    But, lest we not forget, an urgent need to review government policy on the building of garden sheds.

In case you think I have lost my marbles, sheds are high on Santa’s list for the glitterati. Always a trend-setter, former Prime Minister David Cameron bought a ‘Shepard’s hut’ for his pad in the Cotswolds and had it safely and legally installed in his garden. (Starting at £16,000 – but lots more if you add in the extras like sheep’s wool insulation, a wood-burning stove, Bakelite light switches and a hardwood door.)

According to ‘permitted development’ it is legal to build an outdoor structure so long as it stands no more than 8ft tall, is single storey, and takes up no more than half of the garden.

shedful-of-tearsHowever, garden buildings outside listed buildings or behind garden flats need planning permission. And getting planning permission for one of these ‘super sheds’ is not an easy task, as Robbie Williams and Benedict Cumberbatch have recently discovered.

The humble flat-pack shed from B&Q simply won’t do for likes of them. Instead they are opting for individually designed sheds, so large and sophisticated that they require planning permission.

Unfortunately for Mr. Williams, Kensington and Chelsea Council rejected his planning application for a 22ft by 19ft “relaxation space” in the back garden of his £17m Holland Park home. Wondering why? Let me entertain you… The glass and concrete design was labelled “excessive” by neighbours, along with a variety of other complaints.

Meanwhile, though Mr. Cumberbatch is yet to move into his Hampstead home, he has already provoked the Wrath of Khan from his neighbours over his plans for a 161sq ft super-shed. I wonder, is nimbyism evolving? Complaints are transitioning from ‘not in my backyard’ to ‘no, not in yours either’.

Either way, it sounds like both men might require some good ol’ Curtin&Co political and community engagement advice…

If super-sheds do become the country’s latest planning battleground, perhaps it is something for my consultants to look into in the new year.

What could be more rewarding than keeping the planning system from impeding on a man’s intimate bond with his pride and joy: his shed.

See you all in 2018.


This week at Curtin&Co
This week we were delighted to be part of the project team that achieved planning consent for 279 new homes in Tottenham on behalf of Anthology. The development represents the final build in the Hale Village regeneration scheme. Congratulations to everyone involved.

And so, our latest planning success takes us to 2,532 units this month, over 5000 units this year, and an average of 100 units per week. What a result!

Please note, we will be closed next week and open for business again on January 2nd 2018.

This week in the press

No room in the… shed
David Cameron’s Christmas card

Hark! The Housing Crisis
‘We voice our concerns through a choir’: singing out about the UK housing crisis

Hackitt review into Grenfell fire
The property industry reacts

Developers on a tight lease 
Government to ban leaseholds for new build houses

And Finally…

We’re gonna need a bigger roof 
House with 25ft shark in the roof to be made national treasure

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288