Casebook: Appeal cases - Commercial and industrial - Vehicle storage and repair use ruled unlawful

In dismissing an appeal seeking confirmation that land in Hampshire could lawfully be used for the repair and storage of commercial vehicles, an inspector has rejected the planning authority's claim that the appeal was invalid.

The council stated that an enforcement notice upheld on appeal in 2003 prevented use of the site for the purposes sought in the lawful development certificate (LDC) appeal. The validity of the enforcement notice could not be challenged where the issue of the lawfulness of the site had already been established, it maintained.

The inspector rejected this claim, concluding that the appellants had a statutory right of appeal. Their concern was to establish whether the use had become lawful over a ten-year period, he held, not to question the validity of the notice. He decided that although a material change of use had taken place in 1992, activities at the site between 1999 and 2001 had been occasional and intermittent and hence the use had not been active throughout the ten-year period.

DCS No: 39314867; Inspector: Roger Priestley; Inquiry.

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