After the torture of being told we had an offer in principle from the mortgage lender, to be told a few days later it had been refused due to Section 157 only to be told a week or so later they had changed their minds and would lend; we were told by the East Devon council we didn’t meet the requirements of the 157 and therefore our application was rejected.
We called on the help of our local MP, councillor Ian Thomas explaining our situation and supplied proof that we intended to stay and were by no means wealthy second-homers and if the intention of the 157 was to ensure security of local housing stock for local people, then we easily fell into that category.
He agreed to look into it and get back to us. That was on 28 September.
On 5 October he spoke to the Portfolio Holder and reported back to us that he had supported our application but it was now out of his hands and even after the PH reach a decision, there was a 7 day period for other councillors to challenge the decision.
Another 2 weeks passed without any news. We had no way of knowing whether or not the PH had agreed with Councillor Thomas’ opinion, if they had prepared their report or if they had sent it to the other councillors for their comment.
Our frustration was matched only by the vendors’ anxiety and being an older couple, they were finding it very distressing. But it seems personal feelings and emotions have no role to play in the council chambers.
How is it possible for something that is so simple to take three weeks?
By the 20 October I’d had enough and asked our solicitor to chase them up.
Within a couple of hours of emailing they received a reply; the application for special consent had been circulated and we now had to wait the 7 days.