Posts By: dcplatest

Problem solved

Last spring the chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate explained that a large part of the reason for the delay in the handling of planning appeals was “the unexpected receipt of more than 1000 prior approval appeals for phone kiosks”. Here on the Blog we remarked that the interest in phone kiosks arises largely from their function as structures for the display of advertisements, and we suggested a solution to the problem (Whatever happened to ….)

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Possibly, the council involved in this appeal case (DCS Number 400-020-987) has been caught up in the current craze for decluttering.

The case relates to a fruit and vegetable shop in Bedfordshire. The appellant was objecting to the imposition of a condition attached to planning permission for two display units on the forecourt. The condition required the removal of an existing wooden display structure within two months of the permission.

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Hard sums

Here is an example of the simplified and improved permitted development system (DCS Number 400-020-975). This comes from an appeal against the refusal of a lawful development certificate for extensions to a terrace house in north London, in which the inspector referred to the various elements of the proposal as A, B and C.

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To be or not to be….

If you think about it, the Prince of Denmark had a rather odd name.

Setting aside such musing, readers will be aware that Paragraph 145 of the NPPF states that “A local planning authority should regard the construction of new buildings as inappropriate in the Green Belt.” Exceptions to this include, at 145 e), “limited infilling in villages”. In a recent appeal against the refusal of planning permission for four houses amongst a group of dwellings in Staffordshire, however, the main parties disputed whether the group was a village or a hamlet (DCS Number 400-020-890).

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Is this fair?

See if you think the following represents consistent decision-making:

The conversion of a mid-terrace house in a student area of Cardiff to a house in multiple occupation for six persons was dismissed at appeal because it was likely to have a materially adverse effect on the character and amenity of the area (DCS Number 400-020-602). The inspector in this case noted that supplementary planning guidance prepared by the council recognised that concentrations of HMOs clustered in small geographical areas can cause problems. Consequently, it set thresholds above which it deemed that the concentration of HMOs would have an adverse impact on the community. In the appeal area the SPG identified an upper threshold of 20 per cent of HMOs within a 50 metre radius of the application site. Beyond that threshold the SPG indicated that HMOs should be resisted. The council’s evidence showed there were 30 properties registered as HMOs within 50m of the site which equated to 79 per cent. The inspector judged that a high proportion of young people, most of whom would be absent in the summer, was likely to affect the provision of community services and add to the imbalance of the housing mix in the area. He found that the cumulative impact of HMOs had resulted in negative perceptions of the area among longer term residents as well as those who might wish to move into the area.

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On the nail

An inspector has declined to issue a certificate of lawfulness for the use of a vacant shop in north London as a nail bar, ruling that it would entail a material change of use requiring planning permission (DCS Number 400-020-587).

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