A lasting impression

An inspector has quashed an enforcement notice which required the removal of a building constructed in 2017 from a golf course complex in Staffordshire, finding that it was a temporary structure permitted under Part 4 Class A of the GPDO (DCS Number 200-010-333).

The appeal building was a steel portal-framed, single span workshop and office. It had concrete floors, was clad in metal sheeting and measured 18m by 19.5m. In considering the council’s claim that it was a permanent building the inspector quoted the judge in R (oao Wilsdon) v FSS & Tewkesbury BC [2006]:

‘Whilst of course it is possible that a landowner would wish to erect a permanent building to serve a temporary purpose, as a matter of common sense, absent any other explanation, the larger and more permanent the building in question the less likely it is to be genuinely “required temporarily” in connection with the carrying out of development on the land or on adjoining land. Common sense has some role to play in planning control and the proposition that a permanent building may fall within Class A in Part 4, whilst in principle correct, raises the obvious question: why would anyone go to the time, trouble and expense of erecting a permanent structure if it is required only temporarily? In any particular case there may be a sensible explanation but it would be necessary to look at the facts of each case to see whether or not such an explanation had been provided. It is not unreasonable to adopt, as a starting point, the proposition that a landowner will not usually erect a permanent building if it is merely required temporarily. Similarly, the length of time taken to construct the building and the length of time that it has been and is likely to be in situ must also be relevant considerations.’

The inspector noted that in the case before her the appellant had significant resources and could therefore absorb the costs of providing the building for a temporary period and then removing or relocating it. Further, the golf course development was a large and complicated project, and she therefore found it unsurprising that it had been ongoing for a number of years, especially given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The inspector found it more likely than not that the appeal building was, when it was erected, when the enforcement notice was issued, and currently, being used principally in connection with operations associated with the construction of the adjoining golf course complex. As such, it was permitted development under Part 4, she concluded.

Section 4.3424 of DCP Online provides detailed information relating to temporary buildings permitted under Part 4.