An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of a prior approval application for the residential conversion of a redundant agricultural building at a Sussex farm under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q, of the GPDO has confirmed that permission is not granted by default if the council fails to determine the application within the requisite 56-day period (DCS Number 400-019-444).
The inspector recorded that the council had determined that the change of use would require its prior approval, but that the notification had been made after the expiry of the 56-day determination period. Its failure to adhere to the timescale set out in the GPDO did not need to be of any great concern to the council, however, as the inspector explained:
“While the 56 day determination period was not extended by agreement in writing between the parties, pursuant to Article 7(c) of the Order, if the development would not be compliant with the limitations listed in Paragraph Q.1 then the fact that the Council issued its determination out of time would be of no consequence. That is because the Court of Appeal in the case of Patrick Keenan and Woking Borough Council and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 427 (Admin),  EWCA Civ 438 has confirmed that if a development would not come within the description for a permitted development stated in the Order, then permission for the development cannot be deemed to have been granted under Article 3(1) of the Order by reason of the failure to issue a determination in time.”
In the case before him the inspector found that the extent of the building operations needed would exceed those reasonably necessary for the building to be converted, and there had been a change from agricultural use, so the conversion would not have been permitted development in any event. He dismissed the appeal.
Further information concerning barn conversions under Part 3 of the GPDO can be found at section 4.3423 of DCP Online.