In See you in court we reported East Hertfordshire council’s intention to challenge an inspector’s decision to overturn its refusal of prior approval for a residential barn conversion under Class Q of the GPDO. They did, they lost.
Posts Categorized: Current thinking
Valued. That’s the word we are having trouble with. In Value judgments we asked how to recognize a ‘valued landscape’ in relation to Paragraph 109 of the NPPF. In Paragraph 70 we meet ‘valued’ again:
For those of us who thought that the decision in Oxfordshire County Council v Secretary for State for Communities and Local Government and others  had settled the argument about whether councils are entitled to claim monitoring fees in relation to Section 106 agreements, the inspector’s decision in (DCS Number 200-006-210) makes discomfiting reading.
Following the Planning Inspectorate’s apology to Richmond upon Thames council for inconsistent decision-making we are keeping a close eye on inspectors’ conclusions in respect of the requirement for affordable housing contributions on small sites.
…because it’s getting bigger all the time and we need to set boundaries.
An appeal against an enforcement notice directed at the use of an outbuilding in the Lake District for letting through Airbnb (DCS Number 400-014-522) is a case in point. The appellant contended that the building was effectively an additional bedroom to the main house and was let only occasionally through Airbnb. Having examined the information on the Airbnb website, however, the inspector came to the conclusion that a material change of use had occurred and therefore a breach of planning control had taken place. He upheld the notice.
Readers living and working in rural areas and struggling with their phone signal might be interested in a recent appeal decision in which the inspector recognised the economic and social benefits of decent telecommunications infrastructure (DCS Number 400-014-533).
Those with an interest in the retail sector will know that development plan policy generally seeks to ensure that the vitality and viability of district centres is protected and that it is not undermined by changes of use from retail use. The loss of a retail unit in a north Wales shopping centre has been allowed by an inspector, however, after he decided that conversion of the former newsagent’s with attached dwelling to three dwellings would be preferable to long-term vacancy (DCS Number 400-014-214).
We thought this snippet was interesting for the considerable (unprecedented?) emphasis placed on the importance of urban grain. The case (DCS Number 400-014-146) concerns an appeal against the refusal of listed building consent to create an off-road parking area at a grade II listed former mill worker’s cottage in an area designated as a World Heritage Site.
After his recent unfortunate brushes with the cycling community the secretary of state for transport might be interested in a planning inspector’s view that a cycle is a vehicle (DCS Number 400-013-998).
Sometimes it is reassuring to note that our planning system has achieved a degree of sophistication such that it can uphold the intention of the law in the face of a literal interpretation of the law, as the appellants found out in (DCS Number 400-014-015).