Flawed description leads to quashed enforcement notice

An enforcement notice issued by a council in Bedfordshire was struck down because it failed to reflect accurately the precise breach of planning control.

The notice stated that a material change in the use of land had occurred comprising the keeping of horses and the use of a building as a dwellinghouse. An inspector raised reservations about the wording of the notice following his site visit. In his opinion the land was used for agriculture and the keeping of horses for recreational use.

The alleged residential use was confined to a stable which was constructed mainly of timber and had a solid base. He considered that the stable comprised a building because it was not moveable and it had probably been erected on site.

The appellant stated that it had been her main residence since 2007 and if this was so it would potentially be immune from enforcement action under the four-year rule. Correcting the notice would increase its scope thereby giving rise to injustice since the appellant’s and council’s cases would have to be presented differently. On this basis the notice was beyond correction and it was quashed.

Inspector Ashan Ghafoor; Written representations

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