A real prospect

In determining an appeal against an enforcement notice directed at an outbuilding in the back garden of a house in Surrey an inspector has set out some useful information relating to the consideration of a fallback situation (DCS Number 400-026-675).

The appellant claimed that a potential fallback position existed under the GPDO. The inspector noted, however, that he had not advanced any definitive articulated scheme that would fall within the necessary parameters. Disputing the need for any alternative scheme to be advanced, the appellant cited the case of Mansell v Tonbridge & Malling BC [2017]. In this case, the inspector recorded, the judge confirmed that the legal considerations in determining the materiality of a fallback position as a planning judgement related to the basic principle that for a prospect to be a “real prospect” it does not have to be probable or likely; instead, a possibility will suffice. The judge also mentioned, however, the inspector continued, that in some cases a degree of clarity and commitment may be necessary, and this will always be a matter for the decision-maker’s planning judgement relating to the particular circumstances of the case in hand.

The inspector considered that the current appeal was a case in point and, had the deemed planning application not been successful, he would have expected that an alternative scheme would have been prepared and advanced for assessment as to whether it would fall within the parameters of Schedule 2, Part 1, Class E of the GPDO.

Section 12.8 of DCP Online covers garden buildings and structures.