An appeal case relating to the refusal of outline permission for up to 80 dwellings in Hampshire (DCS Number 200-006-896) sums up current thinking about policies which place a blanket restriction on development in the open countryside.
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An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of outline permission for three dwellings in Surrey (DCS Number 200-006-849) has reminded us that despite there being a tendency for mud to stick, it shouldn’t.
An inspector who refused permission for a temporary mobile home associated with a vermiculture enterprise in north Yorkshire (DCS Number 200-006-878) might have opened a can of worms.
The appellant explained that he needed to be on hand to ensure the correct environment for the worms was maintained, as failure of the systems could result in a sudden mass exodus of worms out of the tubs and onto the dry and dusty floor which would result in death within minutes. The council, however, provided evidence that a number of dwellings had been available for both sale and rent in recent times in the village which could provide nearby accommodation for the appellant. Taking this and all other factors into account, the inspector was not convinced that the mobile home would be essential for the operation of the enterprise.
The issue of the planning unit comes up not infrequently, particularly in enforcement cases. As an inspector has recorded and helpfully set out in his decision (DCS Number 400-016-723), the classic definition is found in Burdle v Secretary of State for the Environment . Readers might find it useful to keep this somewhere handy.
In Not quite the same we reported a case (DCS Number 200-006-528) in which an inspector found that an application for approval of reserved matters made pursuant to an outline permission for 20 dwellings would have to be for something numerically close to that number, otherwise it would not be pursuant to the permission.
Paragraph 55 of the National Planning Policy Framework states that local planning authorities should avoid new isolated homes in the countryside unless there are special circumstances. These circumstances include the exceptional quality or innovative nature of the design of the dwelling. This is national policy; it’s in the name.
An appeal case involving student accommodation in Surrey (DCS Number 400-016-457) reminds us that planning conditions cannot be varied to the extent that something completely different from the original permission would result.
Subterranean houses in the rural area are proposed not infrequently, their below ground design being a response to concern about their impact on the landscape. Whilst they can achieve a measure of success, their potential to increase car travel will often count against them. In a more unusual case in east London an appellant has gained planning permission, having applied the same design principle to concern about the character and appearance of the suburban area (DCS Number 400-016-586). In these circumstances, of course, there is no issue in relation to the sustainability credentials of the location.
In PPS7 Annex A – gone but not forgotten and Nearly four years on and deleted guidance is still in use we remarked on inspectors’ reluctance to let go of PPS7 guidance on new farm dwellings.
In planning, deviation from the proper procedures is fraught with peril. On the other hand, following procedure down a blind alley is not a good course either, as an inspector pointed out in (DCS Number 200-006-790).