Though it might appear that it’s all glamour in town planning those of us in the business understand that there is a lot of technical know-how involved behind the scenes. An appeal case concerning the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for the use of a property in south London for a mixed use as a dwelling and a photoshoot and film location (DCS Number 400-015-391) illustrates the point. In this case the inspector considered whether the use had achieved immunity from enforcement action.
Posts Categorized: Cut-out-and-keep
An inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of a lawful development certificate for a detached swimming pool and store at a house in west Yorkshire (DCS Number 400-015-315) has helpfully set out the case law on the definition of curtilage, which readers might find it useful to cut out and keep.
Those of us who are parents know that it can be very hard not to just give in to pester power, and we are wondering if this might give us the background to (DCS Number 400-015-070).
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:
Since glamping is a relatively recent phenomenon it might be helpful to note an inspector’s ruling that glamping pods need to be treated as static caravans.
In (DCS Number 400-014-852) the appellant argued that the proposed pods were not caravans and therefore did not conflict with development plan policy, which presumed against the development of new static caravan sites in the county given that there was already sufficient provision. The inspector disagreed. Whilst pods are not specifically legally defined he agreed with the council that they fall within the statutory definition of a caravan, that is, any structure designed for human habitation which is capable of being moved from one place to another. The appellant had confirmed that the pods would be kept permanently on the site, that they would be ready assembled when delivered and that they would be connected to an electricity supply. To the inspector’s mind the pods were akin to static caravans, notwithstanding their different appearance and their limited living accommodation. The proposed development would therefore be in conflict with development plan policy, he decided.
Comeuppance – a delightful old word which, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, derives from ‘come up’ in the sense of coming up before a judge or court for judgement.
It seems appropriate to say, then, that an appellant seeking prior approval under Part O of the GPDO for the residential conversion of a building in Essex which had been in unlawful use as a hostel (DCS Number 400-014-790) got their comeuppance when an inspector judged that it was the actual use rather than the lawful use on the relevant date which mattered.
A council in Devon has had costs awarded against it after mistakenly refusing prior approval for the conversion of a Class B8 storage building to a dwelling (DCS Number 400-014-711).
We know that planning inspectors are not heartless people so it must be very difficult for them when they feel compelled to deploy an all-too-familiar piece of text. This runs along the lines of “Whilst I have given these personal circumstances careful consideration, I am mindful of the advice contained in Planning Policy Guidance that in general planning is concerned with land use in the public interest. It is also probable that the proposed development would remain long after the current personal circumstances cease to be material.” [Translation: The building will be there long after your frail parent/disabled child is dead so I’m really sorry but I’m going to have to dismiss this one.]
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).
Readers dealing with domestic extensions will be aware that Condition A.3(a) of Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A of the GPDO requires the materials used in any exterior work to be of a similar appearance to those used in the construction of the exterior of the existing dwellinghouse. The Technical Guidance for Householders offers guidance on what this ought to mean in practice but to some extent the meaning of ‘similar appearance’ must be drawn from precedent. On this basis, a recent appeal case in southwest London (DCS Number 400-014-332) is of interest.