When a planning inspector finds himself explaining that “We are forced into this somewhat ludicrous situation by the wording of the various Orders and Planning Acts ….” we must be in a serious mess. However, this situation arose in an appeal against an enforcement notice directed at a barn conversion on a farm in Worcestershire (DCS Number 200-007-575). The sequence of events leading to the appeal is this:
Posts Categorized: Quirks of the system
A recent appeal case in north Wales addresses an interesting point about the validation of planning applications (DCS Number 400-018-465).
The appellants in this case had made a householder application for ‘alterations and extension to domestic garage to form annexe accommodation’ and they had paid the relevant fee. The planning authority, however, issued a notice of invalidity, with the requirement ‘Please complete and return an application form for planning permission, this type of proposal is not household but the creation of a dwelling, and please note the correct fee is £380.00’.
The change of use of a building in Oxfordshire from B1 office use to nine flats under Schedule 2, Part 3, Class O of the GPDO has been allowed notwithstanding that operational development was required to implement the change of use (DCS Number 200-007-297).
The nature of ‘conditions precedent’ has been exercising the finest minds in planning, as indicated in The order of precedence. When considering whether a permission has been lawfully implemented despite being in breach of a condition precedent a principal consideration is whether or not the details required go to the heart of the matter.
An appeal case involving student accommodation in Surrey (DCS Number 400-016-457) reminds us that planning conditions cannot be varied to the extent that something completely different from the original permission would result.
In planning, deviation from the proper procedures is fraught with peril. On the other hand, following procedure down a blind alley is not a good course either, as an inspector pointed out in (DCS Number 200-006-790).
An appeal case concerning a rear extension to a house in Essex (DCS Number 400-016-352) confirms that prior approval cannot be granted after the commencement of development.
The council assessed the extension against the provisions of Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (the GPDO), and concluded that as the proposed works had already been completed prior to the determination of the proposal, the scheme could not be regarded as permitted development, the inspector recorded.
In, out, in, out…..
In a case involving a garage extension at a house in Surrey (DCS Number 400-016-084), an inspector has pointed out that with regard to eaves overhangs there is a difference between Class A of the GPDO, which deals with extensions to dwellinghouses and Class E, which deals with buildings incidental to the enjoyment of a dwellinghouse.
Over the last few decades we have been quietly nursing the opinion that the civil servants charged with drafting planning legislation, before they even consider putting pen to paper or digit to keyboard, should be compelled to serve a period in a local authority planning department. Then, they might gain some insight into the difficulties that can arise for the poor souls who have to put their output into practice.
This doesn’t come up very often so we thought we’d share.
A condition requiring rooftop extensions at three adjacent properties in north London to be constructed concurrently has been upheld at appeal (DCS Number 400-015-207). The locally listed buildings formed part of a Georgian terrace and the council was concerned to protect the overall unity and character of the terrace. The owners of two of the properties were keen to proceed as soon as possible, whilst the third owner could not commit to the same time frame as the others. The inspector understood that, as the properties were in individual ownership, the condition was frustrating the ambition of others, particularly that of the appellant who was keen to progress a wider scheme of restoration for his property.