DC Casebook: Housing - Conversion - Deficient occupancy condition dropped

An inspector has decided that an occupancy condition imposed in 2004 on a planning permission for the conversion of a building in Cornwall is flawed and should not be retained.

The disputed condition stipulated that the building should be used for holiday accommodation or by a person with local connections to the parish. This followed a previous decision in 1995 restricting its use to holiday accommodation. The council claimed that removing the condition would enable the building to be occupied on an unrestricted basis.

The inspector noted that there was no mechanism by which the objective of requiring the building to be occupied by local people could be secured. The condition was thus incapable of delivering the stated objective of providing affordable housing for local people in housing need. He also found little evidence that it was necessary in the first place.

He concluded that by varying the terms of the condition to allow a wider level of occupation, the council had effectively accepted that wider use was acceptable. He saw no material difference in planning terms between it being occupied by a local or somebody from outside the area.

DCS Number 100-069-107

Inspector Simon Miles; Written representations

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