Council required too much detail in Class Q barn conversion

Five houses from a barn conversion in open countryside in Warwickshire were approved by an inspector under Class Q of the GPDO, who held deemed permission had been granted by the failure of the council to determine the scheme within the allotted 56 days set out in paragraph W of the GPDO.

The main issue of contention in the case was whether the submitted plans indicated the appeal site and the proposed development clearly and sufficiently enough to satisfy the requirements of the GPDO.

The application was received on 4 September 2019 but following review, the council determined that the plans were inconsistent and made the application invalid on 17 September. The council considered that the location plan did not properly identify the site as the site should have been outlined in red with a blue line around other land in the applicant’s ownership. But the inspector held this requirement was not one of those set out in paragraph W of part three of the GPDO, this simply required a written description of development and a plan indicating the site and showing the proposed development. He opined that the submitted plans achieved these requirements without any red or blue-lined areas.

The inspector went on to consider that whether or not the application contained the necessary information, as set out in paragraph W.(2)(b), the choices open to the council were to either accept the information or refuse the application under paragraph W.(3). Not validating the application was not an option. The inspector concluded the proposal had satisfied the requirements of paragraph W.(2) and on this basis, the application would have expired on 31 October and in the absence of a written notice by the council either refusing it or stating prior approval was not required, by that date, planning permission was deemed to have been granted and the development could therefore lawfully proceed if constructed or carried out in accordance with the submitted plans. 

Inspector: Ben Plenty: Written representations

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