Rear shelter design overrides personal need

The owner of a dwellinghouse in Lancashire was refused permission to retain a rear shelter despite claims that his disability meant that the appeal should succeed.

The two storey terraced house had an L-shaped back yard and the appellant had covered this with a timber and plastic structure. The appellant had a serious mental disability which required him to spend much of his time outside including staying up late in the rear yard. The structure was intended to provide protection during bad weather and he claimed that under the Equality Act 2010, dismissing the appeal would result in unlawful harassment and victimisation.

The rear shelter was of poor design and construction, an inspector decided, noting that its boxy shape did not reflect the architectural form of houses in the area. It could be seen easily from an alley and its size, design, materials and position meant that it was out of keeping with the street scene and host property.

The 2010 Act was relevant, the inspector accepted, but the legislation also sought to ensure that good relations were fostered between people who shared a protected characteristic and those that did not. The appellant had a protected characteristic due to his disability but if the appeal were to be allowed when the structure was clearly harmful to the area, this would fail to foster good relations between people living in the community. However, she did agree to extend the period for compliance to six months.

Inspector Jean Russell; Written representations

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