If at first you don’t succeed, give up

An enforcement notice requiring the demolition of a summerhouse at a property in Lancashire was upheld at appeal (DCS Number 400-012-672), an inspector noting that nothing had changed since an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for its retention had been dismissed in January 2015.

The inspector usefully cited the law on consistency in decision making:

‘The law on consistency in planning decision making is derived from the judgement in North Wiltshire v Secretary of State for the Environment [1993] 65 P&CR 137. At paragraph 145 of his judgement Mann LJ stated that “…like cases should be decided in a like manner so that there is consistency in the appellate process. Consistency is self-evidently important to both developers and development control authorities. But it is also important for the purpose of securing public confidence in the operation of the development control system”.’

The inspector observed that the case before him was not even one where it must be judged by comparison with a similar case. Rather, it had to be judged against a previous decision for the same case. Nothing of materiality had changed since the previous planning appeal was determined, he found. He concluded that planning permission must therefore be withheld for retention of the summerhouse and thus the appeal must fail.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 6.421

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