Caught by a catch-all

In an appeal against an enforcement notice directed at the residential use of a stable block in County Durham (DCS Number 400-020-325) an inspector found no difficulty in identifying the meaning of ‘residential paraphernalia’.

The appellant argued that the requirement to remove residential paraphernalia, fixtures and fittings, within the building was excessive and also that residential paraphernalia was insufficiently defined. However, the inspector noted that paraphernalia is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “miscellaneous articles, especially the equipment needed for a particular activity”. He was not persuaded that there should be any difficulty identifying miscellaneous articles or fixtures and fittings relating to the residential use of the building and land. He considered the term to be sufficiently precise and not readily open to misinterpretation.

Nonetheless, retrospective permission was granted subject to a unilateral undertaking to remove all items of domestic paraphernalia, including washing lines, children’s play equipment and garden structures and furniture, from specified parts of the site, and thereafter keeping these areas clear of such paraphernalia.

Further appeal examples concerning domestic paraphernalia at residential conversions can be found at section 10.1354 of DCP Online.