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Tag Archives: Planning Permission

Old Aerial Photos Pack

Historical aerial photographs are being used by a Lincolnshire Council to provide evidence in planning disputes and public enquiries. Purchased by South Kesteven District Council the OldAerialPhotos have been used to provide evidence of unauthorised land use and to locate the exact position and extent of historical boundaries. Supplied by aerial mapping company Bluesky the photographs are accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity stating the images have not been altered from their original state and were exposed on the date stated – an essential feature for legal proceedings.
“We have used historical images from Bluesky on a number of occasions as they provide crucial evidence in a wide range of cases including unauthorised land use, illegal garden extensions and unauthorised buildings” commented Mick Clift, Planning Enforcement Officer at South Kesteven District Council. “The pictures complete with Letters of Authenticity, are easy to interpret and provide appropriate visual and factual evidence of the dates when the photographs were taken especially in Public Inquiries regarding planning investigations. This has proved invaluable when dealing with such litigious cases.”

The imagery supplied by Bluesky to South Kesteven District Council forms part of an historically important archive that includes some of the earliest commercial aerial survey images, military photographs 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.

In legal proceedings it is essential that all parties have confidence in the evidence placed before them. In the case of aerial photographs, such as those used by South Kesteven Council, this confidence must extend to the fact that the photographs have not been altered from their original state and were exposed on the date stated. The Letter of Authenticity supplied by Bluesky states that photographic prints and scans provided by OldAerialPhotos.com are scanned from original negatives or provided as an original digital image. OldAerialPhotos.com also guarantee that they are not altered or manipulated in any way and can be fully authenticated with date and time of exposure.

“In all our dealings with Bluesky we have received excellent service,” concluded Mr Clift. “The OldAerialPhotos team are always willing to help locate a site and identify a suitably dated image and our orders are dispatched on time.”

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A homeowner has used historic aerial photography to provide crucial evidence to support a planning application and overturn the local council’s plan to place a tree preservation order on trees within his garden. Bluesky supplied the historic aerial photography, complete with certificates of authentification, from their OldAerialPhotos archive providing factual and unbiased evidence to support the homeowner’s claim that the trees in his garden were in fact self seeded and did not historically form part of neighbouring woodland.

“We acquired the property several years ago when it was uninhabitable and virtually derelict,” commented homeowner Stuart Whelan, “and then since when we have spent a considerable amount of time and money bringing it back to it’s former glory – a fact that has been appreciated by our neighbours as it has a prominent position within the village.”

Mr Whelan continued, “When we submitted the planning application for a garage within our garden to Rushcliffe Borough Council we assumed it was just a formality. However when this was refused, on the grounds that the site was considered woodland, we were very concerned. If we allowed the classification to stand it would seriously impede on our ability to use the land as garden and continue with our regeneration of the site.”

The Bluesky images formed part of a seventy three page document presented by Mr Whelan to the Council outlining his objections to the ‘woodland’ Tree Preservation Order. The images from 1978, 1991, 1999 and 2007 clearly show both the property and garden falling into a state of disrepair with adjacent woodland gradually ‘taking over’ the garden.

“The Council simply couldn’t argue with the photographic evidence placed before them,” concluded Mr Whelan. “The images were therefore instrumental in achieving an agreement with the Council and the order was changed from a blanket ban to a group order naming specific trees. This provides protection for the trees we love yet allows us to use our garden as a garden.”

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.

We have recently been working on a boundary dispute case involving an illegal extension, and much of the case had been built on the ‘evidence’ of Google Earth aerial photos, using the very cool time slider (have a look, it is great!).  But what we thought was an “open and shut case” actually ended up being far more complicated, because of the Google Earth data.  The dispute was in an area in London where there are several date of aerial photography available.  The 2003 photo showed no extension, but the 2006 photo showed it – sounds simple enough until you view the 1999 and 2002 photo, both of which clearly show the extension. One might assume it was demolished and rebuilt, but the answer is far simpler.  the 2003 photo was in fact taken in 2001.  To compound the problem it was claimed the extension was built in 2001, so why was it on the 1999 photo?  It transpires that the 1999 photo is the same aerial photo as the 2002 photo, which is dated correctly.  Confused…we were!

If you go to Google Earth and find the Gherkin in Central London then open the time slider you can watch the tower going through various stages of construction, in the wrong order!  Google Earth and  Bing Maps are fantastic resources and we have all lost hours just cruising around the globe looking for past holiday destinations and where our grandparents lives. But be aware that the dates and other information offered by Google (and Bing) are not always to be relied on.  The detail within the photos can also have been altered in the process of putting the data together; Photoshop is an amazing tool…so be warned!  Use Google Earth (and Google Maps for what they are intended, which is not legal disputes!

Our advice is to always use aerial photos from a source that can verify the photo for you. www.oldaerialphotos.com is the obvious place as we have the most on offer!

This is quite an interesting one.  A customer wanted to prove his house was bigger in the 1950s.  He was attempting to rebuild on the footprint of the old building, but there was little evidence of the original building on the ground.  The Local Authority would therefore not believe that the building used to be larger.  He came to us to ask if we could prove beyond doubt that his house was indeed bigger in the 1950s.  So using modern photos from 2009 and two photos, one from 1951 and one from 1955 we could easily see that the house was in the region of 50% bigger in the mid 50s.   In addition we sourced an old Ordnance Survey map from 1930s to back up the observations. We presented him with the results in a clear and concise report.  He was of course, over the moon.

This goes to show that aerial photos, modern and old can be used for more than just boundary disputes.