DC Casebook: Householder Development - Curtilage building rejected as unlawful

An enforcement notice requiring the demolition of a building in the rear garden of a house in north London has been upheld following a ruling that it is not permitted development.

The single-storey outbuilding, put up in 2005, contained a hallway leading to two rooms and a bathroom. The appellant argued that it was lawful because it complied with part 1, class E, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995. He claimed that the structure had been used as a home gym and a children's playroom.

The council claimed that it was used as residential accommodation linked to the main dwellinghouse. Citing Rambridge v Secretary of State for the Environment and East Hertfordshire District Council [1996], it argued that class E only permits construction of a building if its use is incidental to the enjoyment of a dwellinghouse. This did not extend as far as providing primary accommodation such as a kitchen or bedroom, it asserted.

The inspector agreed that the judgement applied in the case before him. In his view, the appeal building had the appearance of a residential annexe for the main dwelling. The appellant had made a series of unsuccessful attempts to extend the dwelling following the arrival of his wife and children in the country in 2006. It seemed to the inspector that the structure had been built to provide residential accommodation. It was not permitted development irrespective of the initial use, he ruled.

DCS Number 100-064-523

Inspector Christopher Hoult; Inquiry


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