Monthly Archives: May 2016

PPS7 Annex A – gone but not forgotten

A recently decided appeal relating to a proposed farm worker’s dwelling in the county of Durham (DCS Number 200-005-060) brings us back to a Blog from February Nearly four years on and deleted guidance is still in use. In that Blog we noted inspectors’ unwillingness to let go of Annex A to PPS7 notwithstanding that this guidance has been deleted. In the Durham appeal the inspector noted that no accounts had been submitted to confirm the viability of the farm business. The appellant argued, however, that the Embleton Parish Council & Anor, R v Gaston [2013] case concluded that there is no need to produce financial justification for a farm dwelling. The inspector acknowledged that this judgment highlights that the test under paragraph 55 of the NPPF is different from that under Annex A of PPS7, in that it simply requires a judgement of whether the proposed agricultural enterprise has an essential need for a worker to live there or not. Nevertheless, she recorded that there is no indication that in making that judgement, the decision-maker does not need to take any account of financial evidence, and in fact in the Embleton case financial evidence had been submitted by various parties to the decision-maker.

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Housing land supply – you’re on your own

An inspector has allowed 30 houses outside a village in Cambridgeshire despite the council having an agreement with a neighbouring authority in respect of housing land supply (DCS Number 400-011-553).

Whilst acknowledging that it could not deliver a five-year supply of housing land, the council indicated that if looked at in the wider area, a five-year housing land supply could be shown, and pointed to a memorandum of understanding between the two councils. The inspector confirmed, however, that paragraph 47 of the NPPF is directed to each local planning authority, and it was not a case where a joint local plan had been submitted for consideration. Therefore, there was a requirement that each local planning authority individually needed to show a five-year supply of housing land.

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Obesity and the origins of planning

Retrospective permission for a pizza and kebab takeaway in Gateshead was rejected, an inspector supporting the council’s endeavours to address obesity in its area (DCS Number 400-011-493).

The inspector noted that paragraph 7 of the NPPF explains the need for the planning system to support strong, vibrant and healthy communities by creating a high quality built environment that reflects the community’s needs and supports its health, social and cultural wellbeing. Paragraph 69 reiterates that the planning system can play an important role in creating healthy, inclusive communities. In line with this objective, a core strategy policy stated that the wellbeing and health of communities would be maintained and improved by controlling the location of, and access to, unhealthy eating outlets.

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“What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare?”

The well-read readers of this Blog will recognise these lines from ‘Leisure’ by W H Davies. An inspector deciding an appeal relating to a wakeboarding facility in Cambridgeshire seems to have a different understanding of the term ‘leisure’, however, (DCS Number 200-004-995). There was much discussion at the hearing regarding the issue of need for the development, the inspector recorded. This arose from Paragraph 28 of the NPPF which supports: rural leisure developments that benefit businesses, communities and visitors and respect the countryside; and the provision of tourist and visitor facilities where identified needs are not met by existing facilities in rural service centres. Accordingly, the question then arose as to whether the development would constitute a ‘leisure development’ or ‘visitor facility’.

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Shakespeare 400

As we all know, 2016 marks the 400-year anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Ever topical, the DCP Blog is delighted to be able to report an appeal decision in which The Bard gets a mention (DCS Number 400-011-383). This case concerns the residential conversion and extension of a listed timber-framed barn in Stratford-upon-Avon. The property was originally a house, reputed to have been owned by Richard Shakespeare, and possibly the birthplace of William Shakespeare’s father and uncle. The appeal proposal involved adding a large, two-storey extension that would increase the volume of the barn by over 80 per cent. The inspector judged that an extension of such a size would be out of keeping with the existing size and scale of the listed barn and dominate its appearance to an unreasonable extent. He considered that the barn was a significant local heritage asset not only because of its considerable age and traditional appearance but also as a result of its possible historical associations with William Shakespeare’s family. The public benefits of the scheme, which included the repair of the deteriorating barn, were outweighed by the harm, he concluded.

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Beds in sheds – removal of bathroom facilities

Planning authorities’ preference to see bathrooms and kitchens removed from unauthorised dwellings is easily understood; without these facilities it is unlikely that occupation will continue. However, an inspector dealing with an appeal against an enforcement notice directed at the unauthorised use of an outbuilding in the garden of a house in Oxford as a separate dwelling has deleted the requirement to remove its bathroom facilities as it would exceed what was necessary to remedy the breach of planning control (DCS Number 400-011-382).

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