The appeal site lay in a predominantly residential area characterised by substantial two-storey individually designed detached houses on large plots. The garage lay close to an existing house occupied by six young adults with learning disabilities. The appeal proposal was intended to allow another resident to live close to the main house while enjoying an element of independent living.
The inspector decided that converting the garage would lead to a marked change in its visual relationship to the main house. Replacing the garage doors with windows would make it look like a separate dwelling rather than ancillary living accommodation associated with the main dwelling, he reasoned.
He acknowledged that if the main dwelling were occupied by a traditional family group, the garage could be converted to ancillary accommodation without planning permission and the impact upon the character of the area would be similar. However, because the property was not occupied on this basis and there seemed no likelihood that it would revert to normal family use, he did not accept that this factor supported the appeal.
DCS Number 100-050-653
Inspector John Murray; Hearing.