Personal requirements of homeowner fail to meet permitted development test

In arguing that a large outbuilding could be erected without planning permission in the rear garden of his house in Bedfordshire an appellant failed to convince an inspector who refused to issue a LDC.

The appellant stated that Class E of Part 1 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 2008 authorised the erection of the building provided it was used for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse. At 117m2 the building would contain a gym, snooker room, office, tea making area, entertainment/cinema room, bar and toilet and shower facilities. This would enable him to entertain his family in the main house while also providing a space for his own entertainment.

In assessing whether the outbuilding was reasonably required for the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse, matters such as personal preference were not conclusive, the inspector held. A determination did not rest on the ‘unrestrained whim’ of the householder and it was a matter for the appellant to demonstrate that the size and range of facilities were reasonably required having regard to all circumstances.

The existing property was quite substantial and although his family and grandchildren visited the premises it was not clear how often they stayed or for what period of time. Similarly, there was no explanation as to why a separate bar, hall, lobby and shower were required. A lack of clarity also applied to the ‘entertainment/cinema’ room since it was not clear how this space would ultimately be used. Consequently, in his opinion the space was larger than that required which meant that the building fell outside the provisions of Class E.

Inspector Ashan Ghafoor; Written representations

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