1. Barn conversion supported in light of isolation ruling
In February, in a case that discussed the court ruling in Braintree District Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government , an inspector approved a barn conversion in an Essex hamlet after finding no conflict with paragraph 55 of the 2012 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), since the site lay near existing dwellings.
2. Granny annexe subdivision agreed at isolated house
In September, an inspector agreed to remove a restriction preventing independent use of a granny annexe at a house in the East Devon countryside, giving substantial weight to paragraph 79(d) of the updated NPPF allowing subdivision of existing dwellings in isolated locations.
3. Basement floor to dwelling consistent with green belt restrictions
In January, an inspector agreed that a large underground basement proposed at a house in the metropolitan green belt would comprise an appropriate form of development and would not result in a disproportionate addition to the property.
4. Medical grounds support green belt conversion
NHS evidence on the appellant’s medical needs and a lack of suitable and available accommodation nearby persuaded an inspector to approve a single dwelling in the Worcestershire green belt in January.
5. Barn conversion makes way for new house
In August, plans for a new house in an isolated location in the Wiltshire countryside won permission, with an inspector giving significant weight to a fallback position allowing residential conversion of an existing barn at the site under permitted development rights.
6. Viability test ruled out for permanent stables cabin
Also in Wiltshire in August, an inspector quashed an enforcement notice requiring removal of a log cabin at stables in the green belt, ruling that the 2012 NPPF did not require the appellant to show that the equine business was economically viable.
7. Flat amalgamation notice quashed after policy test
An enforcement notice seeking to reverse the amalgamation of two flats in west London into a single unit was quashed in April, after an inspector held that the change did not conflict with the borough's planning policies.
8. Conversion works held to exceed permitted rights
Prior approval to convert a barn in the Suffolk countryside was refused in April after an inspector decided that the extent of the works required would exceed permitted development allowances
9. Granny annexe passed as tied to main house use
In July, a lawful development certificate was issued for a granny annexe at a mid-terrace house in north London on the basis that it would not be physically separate from the main house or occupied for an unrelated purpose.
10. Green belt home dismissed as unexceptional
In May, an inspector dismissed plans for a new house in the West Midlands green belt after ruling that it did not meet the exceptional quality and innovative design requirements of paragraph 55 of the 2012 NPPF.
The cases summarised above attracted the highest number of customer downloads from the COMPASS online appeals database in the period from 1 January to 28 November 2018.