Helipad requires permission outside domestic curtilage

An inspector has refused to grant a certificate of lawful use or development (LDC) for a helicopter pad near a house in Surrey, deciding also the appellant should pay all the council's costs in defending the appeal.

The proposed development comprised the construction of a concrete hardstanding for landing and take-off of helicopters together with a 3m pole for a wind sock. The issue between the parties was whether the site lay within residential curtilage and benefitted from GPDO Class F and Class E permitted development rights.

The appellant sought to argue that, on the basis of planning history, the residential planning unit was extensive and included the site of a permitted manège on which the helipad would be located. The council drew attention to a distinction between planning unit and curtilage, and that for the application of permitted development rights it is curtilage that is relevant. The inspector found that the function and location of the manege were not intimately associated with the house and it was outside of the residential curtilage. As such the helipad was not permitted development.

In deciding to award costs, the inspector agreed with the council that the appellant had been selective with evidence in not applying the clear statement of the inspector in the decision to allow the manège, that the development involved the change of use of agricultural land, and as such it could not now be claimed to be domestic curtilage.

Inspector: Paul Freer; Written representations

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