Casebook: Appeal case - Commercial and industrial - Bed-and-breakfast use held too intensive

An enforcement notice requiring the cessation of a bed-and-breakfast use at a house in Kent has been upheld after an inspector reviewed the council's basis for assessing whether a material change of use had occurred.

The local authority had advised the appellants that bed-and-breakfast uses could take place provided that no more than 50 per cent of the bedrooms were so used and separate dining and lounge areas were not provided. It claimed that 60 per cent of the bedrooms in the property were being occupied by paying guests, triggering a material change of use from a dwellinghouse.

The inspector decided that the council's rule-of-thumb approach to determining whether a material change of use had occurred was already generous. He agreed that the character of the property had been changed by the intensity of the use and that it was no longer a single dwellinghouse. The use appeared to have commenced within the previous ten years and consequently was not immune from enforcement action, he added.

DCS No: 100039446; Inspector: Felix Bourne; Inquiry.

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