Summerhouse held to lie beyond curtilage

A Kent green belt resident has failed to quash an enforcement notice obliging her to remove a wooden summerhouse after an inspector held that the site did not fall within her home's curtilage.

The council had issued a lawful development certificate (LDC) in 2002 confirming that the land could be used as a domestic garden in connection with the appellant's occupation of her house, which lay 40m away. The appellant claimed that the certificate permitted the erection of a building under class E, part 1, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995.

The inspector observed that class E rights only apply to land forming part of the curtilage of a dwellinghouse. The LDC did not provide a basis for concluding that the appeal site fell within that definition, he opined. The appellant's home had a perfectly adequate garden immediately adjacent to it and the appeal site was separated from it by six dwellings, he remarked. The benefit to the appellant from the use of the land did not mean that it lay within the curtilage of her home, he declared.

On the planning merits, the inspector found that the proposal did not fall into any category regarded as appropriate green belt development. In his view, the fact that the appeal building had replaced a dilapidated barn did not justify its retention because removal of the first structure ended an earlier chapter in the site's planning history.

DCS Number 100-051-113

Inspector Alan Woolnough; Written representations.

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