Posts Categorized: Current thinking

An axed annexe






An inspector has granted permission for independent use of a granny annexe in the Devon countryside in line with a revision to the NPPF (DCS Number 400-019-912).

Planning permission had been granted in 2003 for the reconstruction of a dwelling with granny annexe. The permission was subject to a condition that the annexe should not be used as an independent unit of residential accommodation separate from the house, in accordance with the development plan which sought to protect the countryside.

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Building a picture






Paragraph 197 of the NPPF says:

“The effect of an application on the significance of a non-designated heritage asset should be taken into account in determining the application. In weighing applications that directly or indirectly affect non-designated heritage assets, a balanced judgement will be required having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset.”

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Believe it or not






Believe it or not the revised NPPF has clarified an aspect of national planning policy. Yes, really! The Blog found the following in an appeal against the refusal of permission for the change of use of a house in southeast London to a day nursery in which highway safety was an issue (DCS Number 200-007-830):

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Design matters






After a few quiet weeks the Planning Inspectorate appears to be getting back into its stride following the publication of the revised NPPF. So, dear readers, here on the DCP Blog we are keeping a watchful eye for appeal cases where new policy has had an impact.

Read more on Design matters…

Full circle






We appear to have come full circle with regard to the definition of an isolated dwelling. Readers will recall that in Braintree District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Others [2017] the High Court judge found that “isolated” should be given its ordinary objective meaning of, “far away from other places, buildings or people, remote”. Also, that it was subsequently held in the Court of Appeal, in Braintree DC v SSCLG, Greyread Ltd & Granville Developments Ltd [2018] that, “…in its particular context in paragraph 55 of the NPPF, the word ‘isolated’ in the phrase ‘isolated homes in the countryside’ simply connotes a dwelling that is physically separate or remote from a settlement…”

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Never mind the quality






An inspector has ruled that a Surrey council’s blanket ban on extensions to houses on a recent development in the green belt is “plainly wrong” (DCS Number 400-019-143).

In the case before him the inspector considered that the proposed extensions would be innocuous and inconsequential. Accordingly, he concluded that the scheme would not be inappropriate development in the green belt and would not harm either the appearance and character of the existing building or the rural character of the estate and its setting in the open countryside. There would therefore be no conflict with government policy in the Framework or with the relevant local plan policy.

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Sounds of the city






An interesting ruling on the intention of Class O of the GPDO with regard to noise impacts has come up in a recent appeal decision (DCS Number 400-018-679).

This case involved a prior approval application for the change of use of the upper floors of a building in west London from office use to 30 flats under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class O of the GPDO. The inspector identified the main issue as being whether the proposal would provide adequate living conditions for its intended occupiers by way of the impacts of noise from commercial premises.

Read more on Sounds of the city…