Cut down to size

In dealing with an enforcement appeal concerning timber hoarding at a site in southwest London an inspector pointed out that the relevant permitted development rights do not apply retrospectively (DCS Number 400-029-930).

The appellant had reduced the height of the hoarding from 2.3m to 1.9m in the belief that it would then qualify as permitted development under Part 2, Class A of Schedule 2 of the GPDO 2015. The inspector pointed out, however, that limitation A.1 (b) states “(b) the height of any other gate, fence, wall or means of enclosure erected or constructed [inspector’s emphasis] would exceed 2 metres above ground level”. As a matter of fact, the inspector recorded, the timber hoarding was initially erected or constructed at a height in excess of 2m, contrary to the limitation. He reasoned that whilst the alterations carried out since might have resulted in development that would be comparable to that permitted by Class A, a fence less than 2m in height had not been erected or constructed from the outset. 

Upholding the enforcement notice, the inspector ruled that the GPDO does not grant planning permission to reduce the height of a fence and therefore it could not be said to benefit from those permitted development rights retrospectively. 

The permitted development classes are set out at section 4.342 of DCP Online.