Curtilage claim fails on intimacy of association

An inspector denied a certificate of lawful use or development for a bird cage at a dwelling in a Devon national park after deciding the site was not residential curtilage.

The occupiers of a barn conversion wished to construct a wooden cage to keep birds for their own enjoyment, which fell within the size limitations of Class E of the GPDO. The planning authority disputed that the land being used as garden land fell within the curtilage of the dwelling.

Reviewing case law and having careful regard to the relationship of the land on which the bird cage would be sited to the dwelling, the inspector reached the decision that he agreed with the view of the authority. Photographic evidence confirmed that a hedge separating the land in question from an area more intimately and historically associated with the barn had been removed. Deciding whether the situation now existing constituted an enlarged curtilage, the inspector noted the area of land on which the birdcage was proposed extended downwards for some distance away from the barn and with views obscured by the remains of the hedge, he concluded this degree of separation meant that the land was not intrinsically interconnected with the barn and therefore not residential curtilage.

As such, the bird cage would be positioned outside of residential curtilage and not permitted development and the planning authority’s refusal to grant a LDC was well-founded and the inspector dismissed the appeal.

Inspector: Andy Harwood; Written representations

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