Accommodation occupation breaches planning permission

The occupation of a flat linked to a veterinary surgery in Dorset was held to be in breach of a condition imposed on a planning permission after an inspector upheld an enforcement notice requiring the use to cease.

Planning permission had been granted at appeal in 2007 for the erection of a manager’s house and staff flat together with additional buildings linked to the veterinary surgery which lay in the countryside. The inspector had accepted that there was a need for somebody to live permanently on site including the need to make night calls and supervise specialist equipment including the use of a MRI scanner. The appellant subsequently sold the practice in 2012 and was retained as an employee. The new owners did not require the manager’s house and staff flat which had been previously permitted and partially completed at the rear and within which the appellant currently resided. Subsequently, the appellant had his employment with the new owners terminated and then commenced his own veterinary practice from the buildings at the rear.

The inspector decided that removing the condition would lead to the creation of two dwellings in the countryside which had been permitted in 2007 on the basis of the needs of the veterinary practice which was now in separate ownership. Although the owners of the main veterinary practice did not currently have a requirement for on-site living accommodation this might change as the impact of the recession lessened. Consequently, retaining the condition was necessary for the proper planning of the area and its integrity would be undermined if it were removed without proper justification.

Inspector Graham Self; Written representations

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