Monthly Archives: August 2020

A written inquiry

As we begin to understand the shape that the new normal might take for the planning profession, it is interesting to read an inspector’s explanation of how he undertook a planning inquiry relating to an outline proposal for residential development in Essex (DCS Number 200-009-570) without the usual gathering of all the main and interested parties in a council office/village hall/community centre:

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A word to the wise

We found the following paragraph in a recent appeal decision under ‘Preliminary Matters’ (DCS Number 400-027-227):

“I have taken the site address and description of proposed development from the planning application form although I note these are expressed differently on other documents. I have also taken the appellant’s name from the planning application form but note a Christian name has been provided on the planning appeal form.”

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Swimming against the tide

An enforcement notice alleging the use of a swimming pool in the garden of a bungalow in Hampshire for commercial, leisure and recreational purposes, not incidental to the lawful use as a single dwelling house, has been upheld notwithstanding the appellant’s contention that swimming lessons are educational rather than recreational or leisure uses (DCS Number 400-027-208).

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All at sea

A couple of recent appeal decisions relating to shipping containers result in confusing guidance.

In the first case (DCS Number 400-027-058), the inspector refused to issue a certificate of lawfulness for a shipping container in Dorset, deeming its siting to be a use of land and therefore not immune from enforcement because it had been there for less than ten years. The inspector reasoned that the case turned on whether the container was a ‘building’ and therefore operational development as defined by section 55 of the Act. He explained that if it was a ‘building’ it was only necessary to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that it had been there for four years from the date of the application, the statutory time limit as set out in section 171B (1) of the Act. If it was not deemed to be a ‘building’ it was necessary to demonstrate, on the balance of probabilities, that it had been on the site for ten years from the date of the application, as set out in section 171B (3) of the Act.

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