A lose-lose situation

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.

Explaining the legislation which led to the inspector’s decision in (DCS Number 400-015-484) to the appellant, for example, might prove a valuable learning experience.

This case concerns an appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for a single storey rear extension to a house in a Bath suburb. Readers will be aware that any external finish not of similar appearance to the existing house is excluded from being permitted development by virtue of paragraph A.3(a) of Part 1 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO. The house is constructed of reconstituted stone with timber cladding and the appellant wished to construct the extension in matching materials. However, the house is within the World Heritage Site, where development is not permitted under paragraph A.2(a) if it would consist of or include the cladding of any part of the exterior of the dwellinghouse with stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles. Therefore, the extension would not be permitted development and would require planning permission.

The inspector remarked that the argument put forward by the appellant that this cannot have been intentional is simply not tenable. Sorry sir, we think it is.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.3421

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