Monthly Archives: May 2020

The law is an ass

‘ “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass — a idiot.” ‘

Charles Dickens’ beadle was probably not the first to call the law an ass and he undoubtedly won’t be the last. Nevertheless, whatever at times we might think of planning law, it is up to us to apply it in letter and spirit. Whether an inspector did quite that when he allowed an appeal (DCS Number 200-009-472) against a council’s refusal to remove an agricultural occupancy condition from a bungalow in north Yorkshire is open to question.

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Court cases on curtilage

Just thought we would share this handy paragraph from a recent appeal decision (DCS Number 400-026-036) on the definition of a curtilage.

“In terms of what can be reasonably considered as residential curtilage it was held in Dyer v Dorset CC [1989] that curtilage constitutes a piece of ground attached to a dwellinghouse and forming one enclosure with it; thereby the area attached to and containing a dwellinghouse and its outbuildings. The case of McAlpine v Secretary of State for the Environment [1995] did not depart from the above judgement save for the mention of it being constrained to a small area around a building, whilst the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport, and the Regions v Skerritts of Nottingham [2000] decided that the definition of a curtilage in relation to a building must remain a question of fact and degree in each case.”

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The way forward?

Readers will be aware that the housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, has urged councils and the planning inspectorate to make more use of digital technology during the current lockdown to ensure that the planning process continues to operate effectively in order to support economic recovery. Here on the Blog we have been looking out for procedural changes which might achieve this objective.

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The unvarnished truth

Tricky things, nail bars. In a previous blog, On the nail, we reported an appeal case in which an inspector declined to issue a certificate of lawfulness for the use of a vacant shop as a nail bar on the grounds that they fall within different use classes. In Nailed it, meanwhile, the inspector, whilst recognising that nail bars are a sui generis use, allowed the change of use of a shop to a nail bar on the grounds that they are comparable uses equally appropriate to a shopping area.

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The future’s Orange

Actually, it’s not, now that Orange UK is firmly in the past and the advert featuring the company’s long-running strapline has been taken off the telly. Nevertheless, the company has left a legacy in Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd. & Ors, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Islington [2006]. This court judgment featured in a recent appeal against the refusal of outline planning permission for the redevelopment of a former Co-op store in the east Midlands with nine dwellings (DCS Number 400-025-646).

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