Posts By: dcplatest

Flame test






Q: What do you call Fireman Sam when he is retired?

A:  Sam.

Somewhat more seriously, an inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for four flats on a landlocked site reached by an unbound vehicular track in south London (DCS Number 400-019-470) has addressed concerns that fire engines would be unable to reach the site in the event of a fire.

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No worries






An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of a prior approval application for the residential conversion of a redundant agricultural building at a Sussex farm under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q, of the GPDO has confirmed that permission is not granted by default if the council fails to determine the application within the requisite 56-day period (DCS Number 400-019-444).

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Mission impossible






In deciding an appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for the use of an outbuilding at a house in north London as a granny annexe (DCS Number 400-019-266) an inspector has explained that the decisive factor was not whether the building would be used for purposes incidental to the main dwelling. Rather, he determined, it was necessary to assess whether the building would be used as a physically and/or functionally separate dwelling, or would provide living accommodation that was integral to the use of the existing dwelling.

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Enlarging on extensions






Unsurprisingly, confusion can arise about the meaning of the reference in Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the GPDO to “the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse”. Does it mean just the extension currently proposed, or should it include previous extensions to the dwelling? The answer is that it used to be the latter, then it was the former but now it’s the latter, as helpfully set out by an inspector in a recent appeal decision (DCS Number 400-019-328).

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Cut to pieces






There is always talk about how roads and traffic cut the heart out of our towns and villages. Perhaps that’s why an inspector with a sharp tongue made this incisive observation when putting a proposal for eight dwellings in Nottinghamshire under the microscope: “The proposed site access would be taken directly from Mansfield Road (A60) which dissects the settlement.” (DCS Number 400-019-373).

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Full circle






We appear to have come full circle with regard to the definition of an isolated dwelling. Readers will recall that in Braintree District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Others [2017] the High Court judge found that “isolated” should be given its ordinary objective meaning of, “far away from other places, buildings or people, remote”. Also, that it was subsequently held in the Court of Appeal, in Braintree DC v SSCLG, Greyread Ltd & Granville Developments Ltd [2018] that, “…in its particular context in paragraph 55 of the NPPF, the word ‘isolated’ in the phrase ‘isolated homes in the countryside’ simply connotes a dwelling that is physically separate or remote from a settlement…”

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Getaway cars






Airport parking at six former agricultural buildings near Gatwick has been denied a lawful development certificate notwithstanding the appellant’s claim that the use was in line with the authorised storage use of the buildings (DCS Number 200-007-675). The go-to court case in these circumstances is Hickmet, referred to by the appeal inspector.

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Never mind the quality






An inspector has ruled that a Surrey council’s blanket ban on extensions to houses on a recent development in the green belt is “plainly wrong” (DCS Number 400-019-143).

In the case before him the inspector considered that the proposed extensions would be innocuous and inconsequential. Accordingly, he concluded that the scheme would not be inappropriate development in the green belt and would not harm either the appearance and character of the existing building or the rural character of the estate and its setting in the open countryside. There would therefore be no conflict with government policy in the Framework or with the relevant local plan policy.

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