Council hit for costs over permitted rights error

Despite council claims that a previous condition restricted changes of use, prior approval has been granted to convert a pick-your-own barn in the Berkshire countryside to a home.

The sole issue was whether the proposal fell within permitted development rights with respect to the applicability of a condition imposed on a permission granted in 2009. This condition restricted use of the building to storage and sale of produce from the pick-your-own area it served or grown within a 25-mile radius.

The inspector held that, because the condition’s wording did not specifically exclude any other use or mention the GPDO, it did not prevent conversion going ahead under class Q, part 3, schedule 2. He referred to Dunoon Developments v Secretary of State for the Environment and Poole Borough Council (1993), which held that of its nature, and by definition, a grant of planning permission for a stated use is a grant of planning permission only for that use.

The inspector noted that the full judgement, which the council’s appeal statement failed to acknowledge, went on to say that a grant of permission for a particular use cannot per se constitute a condition inconsistent with consequential development permitted by the GPDO. There had to be "something more" where the condition’s purpose was only to define the ambit of the permission granted, it ruled.

In the inspector’s view, the 2009 condition lacked this additional element and therefore did not exclude uses permitted under the GPDO. He awarded full costs to the appellant, finding that the council’s misinterpretation of the court case had caused an unnecessary appeal.

Inspector: David Cliff; Written representations


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