CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Housing: Conversion - Certificate rejected for use of pavilion as dwelling

A request for a lawful development certificate for the use of a garden pavilion on Cornwall as a dwellinghouse has been rejected because parts of the appellant's evidence were imprecise and lacking in detail.

The appeal building comprised a small detached summer house situated in extensive gardens bordering the Cornish coast. It had a central door and, apart from a toilet, contained a single room which had previously contained a sink and had been connected with electricity. The appellant claimed that the pavilion had first been occupied in 1975.

The inspector agreed that up until 2001 it had constituted a lawful dwellinghouse. Since then, he noted, it had occasionally been occupied by people who used the main dwelling for eating and socialising, reverting to its use as a summer house in between. The limited duration of residential use had triggered a material change back to a building which was ancillary to the use of the main property, he decided.

The inspector noted that the evidence submitted originally on behalf of the appellant had been significantly deficient even though he had the benefit of professional planning advice and legal representation. The need for the appellant to redress this deficiency had led to an adjournment of the inquiry and this justified a partial award of costs in favour of the council, he concluded.

DCS No: 31128029; Inspector: Victor Ammoun; Inquiry.

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