Same old, same old….

….is a phrase “used to convey that something is drearily predictable or familiar”, according to Google. With this definition in mind an inspector dealing with a flawed enforcement notice directed at storage containers in Dorset could not have been blamed for feeling that the task before him was just a bit same old, same old.

Inspectors are made of sterner stuff, however, so he set to and corrected the notice, putting right mistakes that he has no doubt put right many times before. We have set out his corrections below – readers new to enforcement matters or dealing with them on an irregular basis might wish to make a note. Here he goes:

“First, the allegation describing the use of land for “siting” containers is inadequate.  The principle established long ago in the Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Wealden District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment [CA 1988] applies here: where an enforcement notice is directed at the placing on land of a movable object (in the Wealden case, a caravan), the mere “siting” of the object is not a sufficient allegation, because that is not the real use of the land.  To define the use of the land properly, the allegation has to describe the purpose for which the object or objects are on the land.”

“Second, the mere “use” of land does not amount to “development” as defined in Section 55 of the 1990 Act.  It is the act of making a material change of use which is development requiring planning permission.”

“The third fault in the enforcement notice is that the requirement to leave the land in “a satisfactorily tidy condition” is imprecise.  What may appear unsatisfactorily untidy to one person may be satisfactorily tidy to another person.”

For further elaboration, check out (DCS Number 400-014-704).

The following DCP section is relevant: 4.533

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