This one comes up regularly, which it really shouldn’t. In determining an appeal against an enforcement notice relating to land in Cambridgeshire (DCS Number 400-029-772), an inspector has explained that ‘curtilage’ is not a use of land:-
“The alleged material change of use is from agricultural land (Grade 4) to residential curtilage. However, the term ‘curtilage’ does not describe a use of land but rather is a physical concept originally derived from property conveyancing procedures. In the planning context the term now is most usually applied in respect of permitted development rights for householders or in respect of a curtilage to a listed building. Nevertheless, the notice is clear and the appellant has understood that the allegation means a change to a residential use as part of the garden.” The inspector corrected the wording to state “to facilitate the use as residential garden land”.
The importance of the framing of the correct allegation in an enforcement notice is set out at section 4.533 of DCP Online.