Posts Categorized: Call for action

How many times?!

A procedural note taken from an appeal against an enforcement notice (400-017-156):

“The allegation refers to the material change of use of the land to use as domestic curtilage. The Council is aware that curtilage is not a use of land and has suggested that I use my power under s176 to correct the notice to refer to the use of land for purposes incidental to the use as a dwelling or use of land for domestic purposes.”

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Open all hours?

Given that most of us have access to electronic means of communication at all times of day and night there is perhaps a risk of forgetting that planning legislation still recognises ‘business hours’. A planning authority in Sussex was reminded of this when an inspector dealing with an appeal relating to an agricultural barn found that its decision at 17:45 requiring prior approval was not issued “within the prescribed 28 day deadline, having regard to normal business hours” (DCS Number 400-016-112).

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Hug a tree

We were surprised, and a little alarmed, to find the following information in an appeal against a tree replacement notice relating to trees felled in southwest Scotland (DCS Number 400-015-800):

“The English publication “Tree Preservation Orders : A Guide to the Law and Good Practice” (2005) indicates that a provision in a tree preservation order prohibiting cutting down or removal of independent trees or groups of trees only applies to trees in existence at the time the order was made.”

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Fashion advice

An LBD is a Little Black Dress. Always has been, always will be. An LBD is not a Limit of Built Development (DCS Number 400-015-158).

Check these things out, people!

Same old, same old….

….is a phrase “used to convey that something is drearily predictable or familiar”, according to Google. With this definition in mind an inspector dealing with a flawed enforcement notice directed at storage containers in Dorset could not have been blamed for feeling that the task before him was just a bit same old, same old.

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PINS slips up

Hopefully, this was a one-off, since we hold the Planning Inspectorate in the highest regard, but just in case it wasn’t readers might wish to be alerted to this apology from an inspector under Preliminary Matters in a recent appeal (DCS Number 200-006-021) in order to make the appropriate checks.

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Error message

An enforcement notice issued by a council in Bedfordshire has been declared a nullity because it had the wrong signature (DCS Number 400-013-893).

The enforcement notice was signed by the council’s Principal Solicitor, the inspector recorded. The appellant had provided an extract of the council’s Constitution. The inspector noted that there was a general scheme of delegation to Directors and the Chief Executive, and a specific scheme of delegation authorising particular post-holders to undertake specific functions. ‘Principal Solicitors’ were given delegated authority to prosecute for offences and to authorise any officer of the council to appear in court. The delegation was limited to those functions, she noted, and it was the Development Control Manager who was given delegated authority to issue and serve enforcement notices. Therefore, it was the council’s Development Control Manager who had authority to issue the notice and not the Principal Solicitor.

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