Given the tragic fire that occurred at a block of flats in north Kensington in June, and the concerns about the type of cladding used on the exterior of the building, we might find that householders’ taste for exterior cladding will diminish. Here at the Blog we certainly hope so, if an appeal case in northeast London (DCS Number 400-016-628) is a representative example of what is currently being put forward for planning permission. Quite apart from the safety considerations, which must now demand the closest scrutiny, the inspector describes a proposal which sounds architecturally ghastly.
Posts Categorized: Opinion
We all know that each planning application and appeal falls to be considered on its own merits. Nonetheless, this accepted wisdom should not be allowed to provide an excuse to close off proper consideration of comparable developments, as can sometimes happen at appeal. Because, in the interest of fairness there must be consistency in decision-making. Although two schemes are rarely identical there can be similarities which merit equal treatment.
Whilst plans are often attached to lawful development certificates we don’t know that we have ever seen a plan included within the body of an appeal decision before. But here is one (DCS Number 400-016-424).
An appellant has convinced an inspector that a side extension and a rear extension to his house in north London are permitted development because there would be a 5mm gap between them (DCS Number 400-016-088).
The Dartmoor National Park Authority’s Dartmoor Ponies Factsheet states that “The ponies on Dartmoor are an integral part of the landscape and many visitors to the National Park come specifically to see these animals in their natural environment.”
We are wondering whether the planning system is getting a bit intolerant in its old age. We know that it is a matter of judgement as to whether or not to take action against a transgression of planning legislation, so shouldn’t there be a bit of latitude for business start-ups generally, and for cake specifically?
Over the last few decades we have been quietly nursing the opinion that the civil servants charged with drafting planning legislation, before they even consider putting pen to paper or digit to keyboard, should be compelled to serve a period in a local authority planning department. Then, they might gain some insight into the difficulties that can arise for the poor souls who have to put their output into practice.
In Important work we expressed astonishment that a S106 planning obligation had been required in order to secure the provision of a wheeled bin. With hindsight, we should have realised that we were only a short trundle away from a situation in which the lack of a S106 planning obligation to secure the provision of a wheeled bin would prevent development. But here we are:-
Taken from a recent appeal decision (DCS Number 400-014-884):-
“A signed and completed S106 Unilateral Undertaking has been submitted by the appellant. It would secure financial contributions from the appellant of £73.65 towards the provision of wheeled bins for the development. The Huntingdonshire Developer Contributions SPD 2011 sets out the requirements and justification for Council to secure contributions towards appropriate householder waste storage containers on development sites. I therefore agree that a contribution would be necessary, directly related, and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the proposed development, in accordance with Community Infrastructure Levy Regulation 122, and Paragraph 204 of the Framework.”
The Blog recently reported a case in which an inspector was scathing about a council’s failure to substantiate a costs claim. It gets worse! In the appeal reported in First written warning the council did at least argue its case in relation to the unauthorised development. In a more recent case, however, (DCS Number 400-014-612) the council hasn’t even troubled to do that much. The inspector’s decision was short, and consists of little more than his findings that: the appellants were of the view that the extension would be lawful because the operations proposed would be permitted development; the council had not provided any justification as to why the appellants’ contentions were not correct; having had regard to the GPDO he agreed with the appellants. Unsurprisingly, the inspector awarded costs against the council. He found that the council had failed to: