A local authority in Bedfordshire has suffered a bit of a system failure recently, and we are guessing that it was because the necessary filters were not in place. In (DCS Number 400-018-075) the council accepted an outline planning application for the conversion of stables and a barn to a dwelling. Clearly, this is an application that should not have been validated, or registered, or decided. Even worse, the error was not picked up by the council when the applicants took its refusal to appeal.
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The DCP Blog appears to have been in good company recently as it seems that the Court of Appeal has also been musing the meaning of the Written Ministerial Statement on wind farms. In a case involving a 50m high wind turbine proposed for a farm business in Nottinghamshire the court ruled that the WMS requirement to ensure that planning impacts have been ‘addressed’ does not mean they have to have been ‘eliminated’, R on the Application of Holder v Gedling Borough Council .
Q: How many wind turbines does it take to make up a wind farm?
A: One, apparently.
On 18 June 2015 the then Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, issued a Written Ministerial Statement entitled ‘Local Planning’.
An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the extension and conversion of a large house in the west Midlands to nine flats (DCS Number 400-017-594) has pointed out that the national internal space standards are only applicable where a relevant local plan policy is in place:
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.”
Dismissing an appeal for the retention of seven studio flats in a building which had been granted planning permission for four one-bedroom flats (DCS Number 200-006-996), an inspector was not persuaded by the appellant’s argument that there are no internal space standard requirements in Part O of the GPDO.
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).
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.”
The not-infrequent ruling that a hard standing results in a loss of openness in the green belt and is therefore inappropriate development must cause some consternation for an appellant who is wondering how, when it’s only a few centimetres thick.
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!