Local authorities will know that it is not always easy to get developers to tidy up after they have finished building. Accordingly, here is an appeal decision that might come in handy.

An inspector dealing with an enforcement appeal in south Wales ruled that a permitted development right to use land temporarily in connection with the construction of a dwelling ceased with the completion of that development (DCS Number 400-016-173).

The enforcement notice alleged a material change of use of the land by placing a large lorry container for storage of building materials, and the depositing of building materials and rubbish. The appellant argued that the development constituted a temporary use of the land whilst building operations were being carried out on the adjoining land, and that as such it comprised permitted development under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (the GPDO).

The inspector recorded that Schedule 2(4) Class A of the GPDO permits “the provision on land of buildings, moveable structures, works, plant or machinery required temporarily in connection with and for the duration of operations being or to be carried out on, in, under or over that land or on land adjoining that land”. Subsection A.2 states that development is permitted subject to the conditions that, when the operations have been carried out – (a) any building, structure, works, plant or machinery permitted shall be removed, and (b) any adjoining land on which development permitted has been carried out shall be reinstated to its former condition as soon as reasonably practicable.

The inspector found it clear that whilst the temporary use of the notice land for the placement of the storage container and for works comprising the stockpiling of excavated materials and storage of building materials in connection with the construction of the dwelling might have been permitted under the GPDO for the duration of the construction period, such permission would no longer apply after the duration of the development operations concerned. The argument that continued use of the notice land for similar purposes in connection with the construction of another dwelling was permitted development did not succeed, he ruled, because the notice land did not adjoin the land on which the subsequent building operations were being carried out.

The appellant also argued that the change of use was not material and so was not development. The inspector did not agree. The land was evidently formerly agricultural, he reasoned, and that was the lawful use which it retained following expiry of the permitted temporary use allied to the construction of the dwelling.

The following DCP section is relevant: 4.3424

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