Casebook: Court cases - Inspector faulted over reasoning on immunity

The High Court has quashed an inspector's decision to allow the use of part of a house in Bognor Regis for student accommodation after concluding that she failed to apply the correct approach.

The council had granted planning permission for an extension subject to a condition requiring it be used for ancillary accommodation. The owner started letting the extension to students for independent occupation.

The inspector decided that the property was immune from enforcement action because it had been used by students for more than four years. The council argued that immunity could only be acquired after ten years in light of the condition. Deputy judge David Mole QC agreed that the way in which the inspector had expressed her reasons indicated that she had applied the wrong approach.

Arun District Council v First Secretary of State and Others; Date: 7 October 2005; Ref: CO/75/2005.

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