We have spotted The Wizard of Oz in the telly listings so we feel bound to make a reference to this Christmas TV classic……
It’s worth remembering that whilst Dorothy was pleased to find herself back home in Kansas others might not view former homes in quite the same way. A couple of enforcement notices have been faulted at appeal recently (DCS Numbers 400-013-495 and 400-013-616), the inspectors explaining that an enforcement notice can only require the cessation of the unauthorised use; it cannot require reversion to use as a dwelling.
In (DCS Number 400-013-495) the requirements of the notice were to “cease the use of the property as a HMO and revert the property back to its lawful use as a C3 single family dwelling”, and the notice in (DCS Number 400-013-616) alleged the “the unauthorised subdivision of the property into two residential units” and required the appellant to “Return the use of the property to a single family dwelling house”. In the former case, the inspector commented that “the courts have held that it is sufficient in cases such as these that the requirement is to simply cease the unauthorised use and not to add that the house should revert to a single dwellinghouse. This may be the outcome and one which the Council desire but it is sufficient to stop using the property as a HMO to remedy the breach.” In the latter case, the inspector explained that “A notice cannot require a use to be revived or carried on. It is sufficient to require the breach of planning control to cease.”
The following DCP section is relevant: 4.326