Houseboat held not a dwellinghouse

Permission for a summerhouse and car port in association with a houseboat at a quayside in Kent have been refused, and an enforcement notice requiring their removal upheld, on the grounds the buildings were not permitted development under the GPDO because the houseboat did not comprise a building in use as a dwelling.

The houseboat was kept at a quay, adjacent to which was an area of land associated with the boat. The appellant considered the houseboat to be his dwelling and the adjacent area of land his garden to which Class E of Schedule 2 of the GPDO applied and no breach of planning control had taken place.

The appellant maintained that the carport and summerhouse were permitted development. The inspector disagreed, however. He held that as the houseboat was a floating structure which was only attached to the ground by ropes that allowed it to be easily moved it could not be defined as a building in use as a dwelling. As such, he opined, the car port and summerhouse had not been constructed within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse. The inspector concluded that as no planning permission had been granted for the development a breach of planning control had taken place and as no ground a) appeal had been submitted either, the requirements of the notice to remove the structures were justified to remedy the breach.

Inspector: A J Steen: Written representations

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