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.]
Posts Categorized: Cut-out-and-keep
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.
Judging whether a Class E outbuilding ought to be considered ‘incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling’ is not always easy, so readers might wish to note an appeal case in which the inspector sets out the considerations which should be taken into account (DCS Number 400-014-199).
Prior approval for the conversion of two floors of a warehouse in Sussex to nine flats has been turned down at appeal, an inspector finding that the size of the building would exceed the 500 sqm floor space limitation set out in Schedule 2, Part 3, Class P of the GPDO (DCS Number 400-014-157). Whilst the inspector found that external walls must be included in calculations of floor space under this class there appears, nonetheless, to be an unresolved question arising from the absence of reference to cumulative maximum floor space figures.
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).
In considering an appeal against an enforcement notice directed at the residential conversion of a barn on an Essex farm an inspector was called on to apply the principles of the Welwyn judgment which hold that no-one should be allowed to profit from his own wrong: the public policy principle. Readers might wish to cut out and keep paragraphs 29 to 32 of this decision (DCS Number 200-005-982) since they set out the four features of deception which take development outside the scope of immunity from enforcement, and which might involve ‘a spectrum of wrongdoing’.
On realising that a decision notice has been sent out in error it might be tempting to fire off a corrected version in the hope that it will put things right. It won’t – as the council discovered in (DCS Number 400-013-894).