DC Casebook: Housing: New Build - Caravan removal ordered at building site

An inspector has upheld an enforcement notice requiring the removal of a caravan from a site in Cornwall, ruling that its retention is no longer justified by building works.

The council had granted permission for a dwelling in 1997 and the appellants, after acquiring the site, had installed a mobile home. Temporary planning consent was granted for its retention in 2001 and this was renewed in 2004. The council refused to grant subsequent renewals due to concern over the long period of time it was taking to complete the construction works.

The appellants argued that the caravan was permitted under class A, part 4, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) 1995. They explained that building work had been slower than expected. They claimed that much of it had been done by hand and materials had to be sourced, while bad weather had further delayed progress.

The inspector accepted that the GPDO permits a mobile home where it is "reasonably required" in connection with development taking place on the land. However, he observed that the house had been under construction for almost 12 years and the brickwork was only a few courses high. Even for a self-build project the rate of progress was very slow, he opined. The mobile home had become the appellants' primary dwelling and this was not the order's intention, he held.

Inspector: Clive Kirkbride; Written representations

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