DC Casebook: Agricultural development - Prior approval time limit dispute resolved

Two appellants have failed to persuade an inspector that they are entitled to put up a new building on their farm in North Yorkshire under permitted development rights.

The appellants had lodged an application for prior approval of the building under part 6, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 and its receipt had been acknowledged by the council. It then wrote to the appellants saying the incorrect fee had been paid. The appellants notified the council that it already held outstanding monies relating to another planning matter and authorised it to use these to make up the balance.

The council then validated the application and advised the appellants within around two weeks that prior approval of the building was required. The appellants claimed that more than 28 days had elapsed between the date the application was made and acknowledged and the determination date.

They argued that because the council held the balance of the fee when the proposals were lodged, the application should be judged to have been valid when first submitted, more than 28 days before the council's response. On that basis, they argued that the building could be erected under part 6 without further details needing to be submitted.

The inspector decided that this argument was wrong. The correct fee had not been paid when the application was lodged and it made no difference that the council held monies scheduled for repayment to the appellants, he held. The application only became valid when the appellants formally asked the council to use those funds, he judged. To conclude otherwise would invite applicants to submit incomplete applications with the intention of starting the 28-day period, he remarked. He held that the council had determined the application within the period provided for under the order and so the building's erection was not lawful.

DCS Number 100-058-321

Inspector Bob Sexton; Hearing

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