Casebook: Appeal Cases - Retail development - Human rights claim rejected on shutter action

An inspector has ruled that an enforcement notice against unauthorised security shutters at a vacant shop in central London does not breach the appellant's human rights.

The ground-floor window was protected by two white sliding metal security grilles set in horizontal tracks. The council wrote to the owner stating that permission was required and was unlikely to be granted, given their harmful visual impact. It then issued an enforcement notice under delegated powers after the appellant failed to remove them.

The appellant claimed that he had not received a fair hearing as required under article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. In light of Buckley v UK (1995), the inspector held that the appropriate remedy was to appeal against the notice to enable its merits to be heard before an independent and appropriately qualified inspector.

Since this was what the appellant had done, the inspector reasoned that he had not been deprived of a fair hearing. He decided that the steps required by the notice to remove the grilles were proportionate to their visual impact. They could not be hidden from view and painting them a darker colour would not remedy their visual intrusiveness, he concluded.

DCS No: 100039179; Inspector: Richard Tamplin; Written representations.

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