Posts Categorized: Compare and Contrast

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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Fire away






In a previous blog, Flame test, we reported an appeal case in which an inspector was not satisfied that a sprinkler system would provide adequate mitigation against fire safety risk at a site for four flats which would be inaccessible to fire appliances. In another appeal concerning the erection of one dwelling in Greater Manchester, on the other hand, an inspector decided that sprinklers would overcome the problem.

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It all depends






In The total effect we reported an appeal case (DCS Number 400-017-236) in which an inspector granted permission for the replacement of an existing dwelling, garage and outbuildings in the green belt with a new larger dwelling. The inspector based his decision on Tandridge DC v SSCLG & Syrett [2015] in which the court held that there is no reason in principle why the objectives of green belt policy cannot be met by the application of the NPPF exception allowed to replacement buildings to a group of buildings as opposed to a single building.

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The order of precedence






In a recent appeal decision an inspector gives consideration to what makes a condition a true condition precedent (DCS Number 400-016-471).

The case concerns the refusal of a lawful development certificate for the creation of a first floor flat, granted planning permission in 2006. The appellant claimed that the permission had been implemented due to the digging of a trench. The inspector, however, was not satisfied either that the works were done in accordance with the permission or that they were more than de minimis. She explained that even if the digging of the hole had constituted a material operation, it was possible that the permission had expired if there was a failure to comply with a condition precedent before the deadline for commencement of the permission.

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