Occupancy restriction retained on aquatic centre bungalow

A claim by the owner of an aquatic and veterinary centre in Staffordshire that a condition imposed on the erection of a bungalow no longer had any legal effect was overruled after an inspector concluded that it remained in force.

The condition stated that the property should only be occupied by a full-time member of staff. However, the appellant alleged that the bungalow had not been built in accordance with the approved plans and as a consequence it had not been built in accordance with the permission. Alternatively, he also claimed that a permission granted in 2007 which allowed the introduction of a veterinary use created a new planning unit which also nullified the effect of the condition.

In examining the approved plans and the property as built the inspector noted that parts of it were sited approximately seven metres from the permitted location. In his opinion this variation could be distinguished from the case in Handoll and Suddick v Warner Goodman and Street and East Lindsey District Council [1994] which involved a bungalow which had been sited 27 metres from the approved position. In the context of the plot as a whole the bungalow sat in substantially the same position as that approved and any differences did not materially impact upon the character of the area. Consequently, the planning permission had been implemented.

In examining the claim that the creation of a new planning unit nonetheless nullified its terms, the inspector agreed that the introduction of a veterinary practice had some impact on the character of the aquatic centre. It did introduce a new use but this was small in scale and occupied space within an existing building. Rather than creating a new planning unit it resulted in a mixed use which did not create a new chapter in the planning history of the land. Therefore, the condition imposed on the occupation of the bungalow remained in force and the appeal was dismissed.

Inspector Keri Williams; Written representations

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