Casebook: Appeal case - Leisure and entertainment - Crazy golf course held to require permission

An enforcement notice directed against a crazy golf course in West Yorkshire has been upheld after an inspector found that the work constituted development requiring permission.

The breach alleged in the notice was the carrying out of operational development including the laying of tarmac surfaces and the placing of edging blocks, golf obstacles and artificial surfaces. To create the course, turf had been stripped, stone drains installed, sand laid on the exposed surface, AstroTurf laid on the sand to form the 18 holes and edging blocks placed around these. The walkways were later covered with tarmacadam.

The appellant claimed that he had carried out the work himself using a wheelbarrow and hand tools. He argued that the turf stripping and drain laying were authorised by an earlier permission for a putting green and contended that the other operations were de minimis. The inspector made no comment on the turf stripping and drain laying, which were accepted by the council. However, he disagreed that artificial surfaces covering an area of some 20m by 24m or the edging blocks were de minimis.

The appellant argued that the works did not materially affect external appearance because they were not "visible from a number of normal vantage points" in terms of the judgement in Burroughs Day v Bristol City Council (1996). On that basis they did not involve development for the purposes of section 55(2)(a) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, he maintained.

But the inspector reasoned that section 55(2)(a) only applies to buildings and was not applicable in this case.

DCS No: 100039438; Inspector: Paddy Burke; Hearing.

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