Posts By: dcplatest

Ignorance of the law

Since when has it been the appellant’s responsibility to educate a planning inspector about planning law?!

In Open all hours? we reported an appeal case in which the inspector cited the relevant planning legislation concerning electronic communications (DCS Number 400-016-112). He recorded that “Paragraph 2(7) of Schedule 1 to the Town and Country Planning  (Electronic Communications) (England) Order 2003 and Article 2(9) of the GPDO are clear”….”that communications received outside of normal business hours shall be taken to have been received the next working day. Furthermore, section 336(4A) of the 1990 Act indicates that an electronic communication, used for the purposes of giving a notice, shall be taken to have been received the following day if received outside of that person’s business hours.”

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A change of gear

A pizza outlet in west London which is prohibited from delivering takeaways by motor vehicle has overcome the constraint by means of some imaginative thinking (DCS Number 400-022-916).

The appeal inspector noted that the condition in dispute did not prevent deliveries from taking place from the premises but restricted the use of motor vehicles which were defined to include motorcycles, mopeds and motor scooters. The appellants sought to use electrically assisted pedal cycles.

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Boomerang children

Economic and social changes have meant that these days children very often grow up, leave the family home to lead independent lives….and then come back again.

An interesting appeal case concerning an agricultural occupancy condition on a dwelling in Yorkshire sought to exploit this phenomenon (DCS Number 400-022-725). The condition stated that the occupation of the dwelling was limited to a person solely or mainly employed in agriculture in the locality, including any dependants, or a widow or widower of such a person. The appellants sought a certificate of lawfulness on the basis that the dwelling had been occupied in breach of the condition by a financially independent child for over ten years.

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Reinventing the wheel

In most cases, a council which fails to provide a statement at appeal is not doing itself any favours. Conclusions about the strength of the council’s case and/or commitment to the decision may well be drawn. That said, there really isn’t any point in reinventing the wheel, and requiring an inspector to read much the same information twice, if a comprehensive committee report already exists.

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Inherent and intrinsic

Making sense of the various permitted development rights for change of use under Part 3, Schedule 2 of the GPDO is a long way from easy. In particular, many have drawn the conclusion that a local planning authority which fails to determine a prior approval application within the requisite period has granted permission by default. Not so, as we highlighted in No worries

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One giant leap

As we celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing it appears that planning has made one giant leap backwards. Get this: in Hertfordshire an appeal has been allowed and approval granted for change of use from light industrial to windowless flats under the provisions of Schedule 2, Part 3, Class PA of the GPDO (DCS Number 400-022-545).

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The hands of time

If William Morris were still here he might be interested to know that, whilst many of his ideas were considered revolutionary in his lifetime, some have since been absorbed into mainstream planning policy. In particular, he did not share his fellow Victorians’ enthusiasm for turning back the hands of time in relation to the preservation of ancient buildings, and an appeal decision against the refusal of listed building consent for internal alterations to a thatched cottage in Wiltshire (DCS Number 400-022-320) is in line with his philosophy.

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An inspector has authorised shorter visibility splays than deemed necessary by the council at the access to six dwellings in Suffolk, finding no particular justification for insisting on visibility splays suitable for a trunk road (DCS Number 400-022-073).

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