Casebook: Appeal cases - Householder Development - Garage avoids need for planning permission

A lawful development certificate has been issued for a double garage at a family home on Teesside after findings that the access to it did not involve development and its use for garaging classic cars was not unreasonable.

It was common ground between the parties that the garage fell within the curtilage of the house and did not fall outside the scope of permitted development rights under class E, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995. However, the council argued that the access had to be considered as an inseparable element of the proposal. It pointed out that a previous inspector had decided that making an access onto a private driveway to the rear of the property was not permitted development because it was not a highway.

The inspector observed that the garage would be accessible from the private driveway because its door would open directly onto it. In his view, provision of a means of access would have to involve development as defined in section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 before any need for planning permission arose. Since no such development would be involved, he concluded that the proposal only involved the construction of a garage and was therefore permitted development.

He next considered whether the garage was required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house. He reasoned that incidental uses might include a wide variety of hobby, recreational and leisure activities.

He noted that the appellant had four classic cars while the family kept two other cars for day-to-day use. He found that the appellant's cars were all domestic vehicles and there was nothing unusual about any of them being kept in a residential environment.

He concluded that the number of cars that the appellant wished to keep was not excessive compared with the number that might reasonably be expected to be kept there under other domestic circumstances. He concluded that the appellant's intention to keep four classic cars at the property would not be unreasonable and would be incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse.

DCS No: 100039310; Inspector: David Pinner; Inquiry.

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