We have seen a good number of appeal cases relating to lawful development certificates where inspectors have issued decisions without the benefit of a site visit. This might be unsurprising, given that such appeals turn on the facts of the case rather than matters of planning judgement. In a new development, we now have an example of a section 78 appeal which the inspector has decided without a site visit (DCS Number 400-025-725).
Monthly Archives: April 2020
In Unprecedented times we flagged up an enforcement appeal decision in which the inspector accepted that an uncertain situation currently exists with regard to Covid-19 but nevertheless reasoned that under s173A of the Act the council had the power to extend the time for compliance with the notice. In a further enforcement appeal relating to an unauthorised house in multiple occupation in north London (DCS Number 400-025-551), however, the inspector extended the compliance period, recognising that the effect of the notice would be to deprive the tenants of their homes at a time when they would be unlikely to find somewhere else to live.
Planning inspectors are, of course, public servants and must always treat appellants with the utmost courtesy and respect. On occasion that must prove quite a challenge. We rather admired the following phrasing, found in an appeal against an enforcement notice directed at the unauthorised residential conversion of a pub in Oxfordshire (DCS Number 400-025-507).
A recent court case, Gluck v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government , has brought good luck to a local authority in Cheshire which found itself unable to determine a prior approval application under Class Q of the GPDO within the requisite period.
The planning application process demands that information is provided about the context in which a development site is located. Given that that context might comprise land which is outside the control of the applicant, it can be problematic to provide information that is totally accurate. Nevertheless, providing inaccurate information has resulted in an unfortunate outcome for a would-be developer in north London.
As we all now know, we live in unprecedented times, and we are all having to adapt in one way or another. For its part, the Planning Inspectorate is busily exploring new ways of working and decision-making whilst adhering to the principles of fairness, openness and impartiality. In this context, we thought it might be useful to flag up a recent appeal against an enforcement notice which required the demolition, within twelve months, of an unauthorised house in Kent (DCS Number 400-025-508).
An inspector has allowed a takeaway near to three primary schools on Merseyside, reasoning that primary school children would not be allowed out of school on their own, and so would be unable to buy takeaway food (DCS Number 400-025-467). You might think that perhaps the inspector has a point…until reading a further appeal decision, relating to a takeaway in Gateshead, in which the inspector reasons that where there are overweight children in an area there are probably also overweight adults, and planning policies are aimed at improving the health of the population as a whole (DCS Number 400-025-220).