Casebook: Appeal Cases - Householder development - Garden building passes test of lawfulness

A lawful development certificate has been issued for an outbuilding in the garden of a west London house after an inspector's ruling that it was permitted development.

The appeal building was almost completed and was around 25m from the nearest part of the main house. It was 10m long and 4.8m wide with a pitched roof. According to the appellant, the roof was 3.6m in height at the ridge. The council contended that it measured just over 4m to the top of the ridge and also voiced concern as to whether it was incidental to the enjoyment of the house.

In examining the building against the permitted development concessions set out in class E, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995, the inspector considered that a partially filled trench around most of the appeal building could be ignored since it had been formed as part of the construction works. At the site visit, the parties agreed that the ridge height was 3.6m. The inspector concluded that since the roof tiles would add no more than 5cm, no part of the appeal building was more than 4m above the original ground level.

In considering whether the building was incidental to the enjoyment of the house, the inspector noted that its cellar was used as a store and workshop and that the ground floor was set out as a store and games room. He noted that in Peche d'Or Investments v Secretary of State for the Environment (1995), it was held that a curtilage building containing a study or music room, a passageway and toilet and shower facilities fell within class E. He concluded that there was nothing to suggest that the use of the building did not satisfy the provisions of the class.

DCS No: 47547179; Inspector: John Whalley; Written representations.

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