The detached house lay in a plot of about 1.4 hectares, which had formerly been a smallholding. A partially successful appeal against refusal of an LDC for use of the plot for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the house decided land to the south of a privet hedge crossing the width of the plot was curtilage but not land to the north. Following removal of the hedge, a second unsuccessful appeal attempt was made, although the decision was quashed in the High Court.
The inspector considered the appellant had over time created a garden encompassing the whole plot in his ownership, placing significance on a consistent mowing regime creating a uniform appearance to all the land. In his conclusions the inspector observed that creating a garden is not in itself conclusive because the land must also serve occupation of the dwelling in a necessary or useful manner. Regular exercising of a dog taken together with a vegetable patch and use of the land for sitting out and recreational activities had taken place and provided the evidence that, on the balance of probability, the whole of the plot served the dwelling.
The inspector observed the large size of the plot did not alter his overall conclusion, noting the substantial dwelling and generous ancillary buildings, and a countryside location where the size of curtilage was in keeping.
Inspector: John Braithwaite; Inquiry