The premises were used by two residents. Occupiers could have a range of disabilities including autism, mental health needs and challenging behaviour. The council argued that the use did not fall within Class C3 but rather within Class C2 because the two adults were unrelated to each other and did not form a traditional family unit.
The inspector noted that Class C3(b) made provision for the use of dwellinghouses by not more than six residents living together as a single household where care was provided. The change reflected the government’s desire to encourage small care homes within local communities and there was nothing within planning policy or circulars which stated that they must be comprised of a traditional family unit as asserted by the council.
While the people in the property were receiving personal care, this was sufficient to enable them to live within the community on a supported basis and fell within Class C3(b). The property had all the accoutrements of a dwelling and at the time the notice was served it was not occupied by more than six residents. Consequently, there had not been a breach of planning control because there was no material change of use from Class C3 to C2, and the notice was quashed.
Inspector: M Madge; Written representations