DC Casebook: Appeal cases - Wall removal held to involve demolition

An inspector has dismissed an appeal involving the demolition of two walls to form residential parking areas in a Devon conservation area after agreeing that consent is required.

The appeal site comprised two middle houses in a terrace of properties with small front gardens separated from the road by boundary walls. The appellant had removed the front boundary walls and the wall dividing the gardens. He claimed that conservation area consent was not required because the walls had not exceeded 1m in height.

The inspector referred to advice in paragraph 31(1)(b) of Circular 01/2001 indicating that the demolition of any gate, wall, fence or other means of enclosure less than 1m high abutting a highway does not require conservation area consent. While part of the walls might have been less than 1m in height, she noted that some pillars forming part of the single structure had exceeded this height.

The circular also states that a wall is a building, she noted. She cited the judgement in Shimizu (UK) Ltd v Westminster City Council [1997], in which the courts held that consent is not required where removal of part of an unlisted building in a conservation area does not involve demolition.

However, she noted that in the case before her both walls had been totally removed and held that this amounted to the demolition of two unlisted buildings in a conservation area. The loss of the walls had undermined the sense of enclosure and so failed to preserve the conservation area's character and appearance, she held.

DCS Number 100-051-331

Inspector Jessica Graham; Written representations.

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