Posts Categorized: Opinion

Mission impossible






In deciding an appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for the use of an outbuilding at a house in north London as a granny annexe (DCS Number 400-019-266) an inspector has explained that the decisive factor was not whether the building would be used for purposes incidental to the main dwelling. Rather, he determined, it was necessary to assess whether the building would be used as a physically and/or functionally separate dwelling, or would provide living accommodation that was integral to the use of the existing dwelling.

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Off the wall






Perhaps an inspector wasn’t looking on the bright side when he denied advertisement consent for the retention of a painted sea lantern on the front of a tattoo parlour in Dorset, ruling that it harmed the grade II listed building (DCS Number 400-019-044).

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Lest we forget






As we approach the centenary of the ending of the First World War it’s rather nice to see planning inspectors doing their bit to preserve the memory of the fallen.

In County Durham an inspector decided that an agricultural shed would intrude into the verdant setting of a listed war memorial which was carefully positioned at a strategic bend in the road at the entrance to the village (DCS Number 400-018-114).

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Not there yet






After decades of tweaking you would think that the GPDO might have achieved near-perfection, such that only good quality design would escape the need for planning permission. Not so, sadly, as a recent appeal case in east London indicates (DCS Number 400-017-938).

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Thinking inside the box….






….Box 5.1 of the Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, Third Edition (GLVIA3) published by the Landscape Institute and the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, to be precise. Box 5.1 sets out eight criteria against which landscape value might be assessed. These are landscape quality (condition), conservation interest, scenic quality, recreation value, rarity, perceptual aspects, representativeness and associations.

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Substance over style






Given the tragic fire that occurred at a block of flats in north Kensington in June, and the concerns about the type of cladding used on the exterior of the building, we might find that householders’ taste for exterior cladding will diminish. Here at the Blog we certainly hope so, if an appeal case in northeast London (DCS Number 400-016-628) is a representative example of what is currently being put forward for planning permission. Quite apart from the safety considerations, which must now demand the closest scrutiny, the inspector describes a proposal which sounds architecturally ghastly.

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Ceteris paribus






We all know that each planning application and appeal falls to be considered on its own merits. Nonetheless, this accepted wisdom should not be allowed to provide an excuse to close off proper consideration of comparable developments, as can sometimes happen at appeal. Because, in the interest of fairness there must be consistency in decision-making. Although two schemes are rarely identical there can be similarities which merit equal treatment.

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