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As debate rages over new planning rules being proposed under the government’s Localism Bill old aerial photographs are helping homeowners resolve issues with the current system. Judith Norris Limited, a small multidisciplinary practice specialising in rural planning, regularly uses images from the OldAerialPhotos archive to glean evidence of a building’s former use or extent as well as identifying areas of potential archaeological interest. The date certified photographs are proving invaluable when proving periods of immunity in cases where strict time restrictions apply.

Aerial Photo from the OAP archive

“One area where photographic records are particularly important is for certificates of lawful use or development,” commented Judith Norris, Chartered Surveyor and Director of the Sussex based practice. “Recent cases included photographic evidence of land, close to a house, being used as part of the residential curtilage while another case related to an historic barn. Using the images supplied by Bluesky we were able to prove that the building had been extended at some point in the past although the extension had since been demolished. This evidence helped agree the principle of another, modest, extension.”

Aerial photographs dating back as far as the 1970’s, or further, can provide crucial evidence of when a building or extension was erected and when it was demolished. Other key features than can be evidenced from the historic images include field boundaries, rights of way, husbandry changes, land use and property boundaries. Bluesky supply the accurately dated historic aerial photographs from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence for further investigation by homeowners or professional practitioners such as Judith Norris Ltd.

The imagery supplied by Bluesky forms part of historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photography from World War II and many national archives. Offering a record of most major UK cities and towns, transport and utility infrastructure and commercial property developments, the images are an invaluable resource for anyone with a personal or professional interest in local studies, genealogy, boundary disputes, environmental land use research or town planning.
“It is always a pleasure to work with Bluesky and we appreciate the friendly and efficient service we receive,” concluded Ms Norris.


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