The landowner had obtained a lawful development certificate (LDC) confirming that the stationing of four caravans at the site was lawful. In 2003 the council granted permission for a fifth. The owner asserted that increasing the number of caravans to 50 would not trigger a material change of use.
The inspector was not persuaded that this represented a lawful fallback position and refused planning permission for the additional caravans.
Deputy judge James Goudie QC agreed that the inspector had been correct.
He noted that the LDC made specific reference to the lawful number of caravans and held that it was a matter for the inspector to determine whether any increase would trigger a material change of use.
Childs v First Secretary of State: Date: 20 October 2005; Ref: CO/2689/2005.