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An appeal case concerning a rear extension to a house in Essex (DCS Number 400-016-352) confirms that prior approval cannot be granted after the commencement of development.

The council assessed the extension against the provisions of Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (the GPDO), and concluded that as the proposed works had already been completed prior to the determination of the proposal, the scheme could not be regarded as permitted development, the inspector recorded.

The inspector noted the wording of paragraph A.4 of the GPDO, and the conclusions reached in Winters v SSCLG & Havering LBC [2017]. In particular, he noted paragraph A.4(10) which requires that the development must not be begun before the receipt from the local planning authority of a written notice that prior approval is either (a) not required, or (b) has been given, or (c) the expiry of 42 days following the date on which the information for prior approval was received by the local planning authority without the local planning authority notifying the developer as to whether prior approval is given or refused.

It was evident that the structure had been commenced prior to the fulfilment of one of the required three events as set out in paragraph A.4(10) of the GPDO, the inspector observed. As a consequence, and having had regard to the conclusions of the High Court judgment, he was satisfied that prior approval could not be given on the basis of a “proposed development” for development that had already begun. He therefore dismissed the appeal.

The following DCP section is relevant: 4.3421

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