I endorse Brian Waters' view (AJ 21.12.00) that the combination of ever-worsening local authority delays and obstruction, improved Planning Inspectorate performance and tighter appeal timetables now makes going to appeal after expiry of the eight-week limit 'a legitimate and practical alternative jurisdiction for planning decisions'.
However, he suggests checking that the authority is not delaying the date of registration of the application. That favourite local planning authority gambit does not actually work. Provided the application is complete (including the right certificates, cheque, etc) the eight-week period automatically runs from the date of receipt of the application, not the date of the acknowledgement letter - see its wording as set out at Part 1 of Schedule 1 of Article 5 (20) of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995.
I was concerned by the reported findings of the seminar held at Ceram (Brick Bulletin, AJ 16.11.00), and advise that:
Structural engineers have not, to date, suggested that lime mortars be used in panel construction, where flexural strength is an issue. The recent research does, however, indicate that it may be viable to use lime for panel construction.
Expansion joints in brickwork only became an issue when cement was added to mortar. Taking cement out of the mortar reverts the design back to the previous practice when expansion joints were not required. However, some continental hydraulic lime mortars are as strong as cement mortar and should be treated as such.
Research undertaken at Bristol University on the movement and flexural strength of lime mortars is a useful addition to our knowledge.