Monthly Archives: July 2021

Out on a limb

An enforcement notice issued by a council in south Yorkshire has been quashed, an inspector finding that the breach alleged in the notice was set out incorrectly (DCS Number 400-031-367).

The appeal site was a small part of a large field to the rear of the appellant’s dwelling. The inspector recorded that in June 2015 the appellant had applied retrospectively for planning permission for ’retention of temporary large shed and decking’. This application was refused by the council in April 2020. (Blog note: Yep, nearly five years later). A subsequent appeal was dismissed in January 2021 and the enforcement notice was then issued in February 2021. 

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Which way is up?

Which is the correct way to deal with prior approval Class AA upward extensions? Is it in line with the case we reported in Words on the street (DCS Number 400-031-261) in which an inspector ruled that the council’s concern about the impact on the street scene was not relevant, or is it line with a slightly more recent decision (DCS Number 400-031-906) in which the inspector found that it was?

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Words on the street

The new design advisory body, the Office for Place, and the final version of the National Model Design Code have no doubt been launched with lofty ambitions. Given a recent appeal decision, however, (DCS Number 400-031-261) we are wondering how the tension between these high ideals and the freedoms of the prior approval regime will be resolved on the ground. 

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The cat’s whiskers

Here’s an appeal case which tells us that a commercial use at a private house does not necessarily need planning permission (DCS Number 400-031-485).

In this case the appellant sought a certificate of lawfulness for the use of an existing outbuilding as a commercial cattery for up to ten cats. The inspector identified the main issue as being whether the proposal would amount to a material change of use constituting development as defined in section 55 of the Act. He recorded that there is no statutory definition of a material change of use; however, it is linked to the significance of a change and the resulting impact on the use of land and buildings. Whether a material change of use has taken place, he explained, is a matter of fact and degree and this will be determined on the facts and circumstances in any particular case. 

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Break the habit

When dealing with planning applications in the green belt our habit of thinking in terms of appropriateness and openness is generally a good one. When dealing with applications for prior approval in the green belt, on the other hand, it’s a habit that needs to be broken. A recent appeal decision relating to the refusal of prior approval for an additional storey on a dwelling in Dorset illustrates the point (DCS Number 400-031-584).

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