Posts Categorized: Something to make you smile

Faulty towers






A first floor extension to a building used as a money exchange abutting a railway embankment in the west Midlands has been refused permission by an inspector (DCS Number 400-018-516).

The inspector stated “The proposal would sit in very close proximity to the railway. In the absence of any appropriate structural information it is unclear how the development would impact on the stability of the adjoining railway infrastructure as a result of increased loads that would be created by the development. In the absence of such information, and in light of explicit concerns from Network Rail I cannot be satisfied that the development would not harm the stability and safe operation of the railway.”

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Raising the bar






We all know that we sometimes have to walk a tightrope, balancing public interests against the interests of planning applicants. An inspector recently did just that, in a finely balanced decision relating to an appeal against the refusal of permission for a flying trapeze in the back garden of a house in Gloucestershire (DCS Number 400-017-774).

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Fair game?






In support of an appeal against an enforcement notice requiring the demolition of a timber structure in an open field in Bedfordshire (DCS Number 400-017-670) the appellant described the structure as intended for the breeding of game birds. On this basis he claimed that it did not require planning permission as it was intended for agricultural use.

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Wriggle room






An inspector who refused permission for a temporary mobile home associated with a vermiculture enterprise in north Yorkshire (DCS Number 200-006-878) might have opened a can of worms.

The appellant explained that he needed to be on hand to ensure the correct environment for the worms was maintained, as failure of the systems could result in a sudden mass exodus of worms out of the tubs and onto the dry and dusty floor which would result in death within minutes. The council, however, provided evidence that a number of dwellings had been available for both sale and rent in recent times in the village which could provide nearby accommodation for the appellant. Taking this and all other factors into account, the inspector was not convinced that the mobile home would be essential for the operation of the enterprise.

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Let us prey






Inspectors can never know exactly what they might encounter on a site visit but the following description of development must have introduced a certain level of apprehension.

“The development proposed is new detached dwelling, detached garage with first floor accommodation and lion enclosure with fencing.”

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Every cloud….






….has a silver lining. We are aware that, following the retirement of a number of senior inspectors, PINS’ statistics have not been looking that great recently, particularly with regard to inquiries and hearings. However, whilst it might now take an age to get an appeal decided the upside is that the new, young and hip Inspectorate appears to have a somewhat more modern outlook, as evidenced by a recent appeal decision in Bedford (DCS Number 400-016-143).

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Sic erat scriptum






Readers who shop in Marks and Spencer might recall that the store was in trouble with the grammar police some years back for displaying signs at some of its tills which said ‘Six items or less’. The offending signs were replaced swiftly with signs indicating that the tills were restricted to customers purchasing the more grammatically correct ‘Six items or fewer’.

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Just kidding around






Between ourselves, part of the fun of this job is in reading about the inventive and sometimes hilarious schemes people dream up to circumvent planning legislation. Here’s one you’ll like.

This case (DCS Number 400-015-641) involves an appeal against an enforcement notice requiring the removal of a goat shelter built on skids from agricultural land in Devon. The appellant contended that the shelter was a mobile field shelter that contravened no planning legislation. The planning authority, on the other hand, considered that the timber building constituted a building operation and was development within the meaning of s55 of the Act, and referred to the tests to establish whether a structure is a building on the basis of its size, permanence and attachment to the land (Barvis Ltd v SSE [1971] and Skerritts of Nottingham Ltd v SSETR [2000]).

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