At an inquiry held on 20 August 2013, Inspector S Hand MA, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, heard a joint planning and enforcement appeal against South Kesteven District Council.

The appeal concerned a dwelling house which was granted planning permission in 2002, but which was subsequently constructed in contravention to the granted permission.

Section 174 Appeal

At the one-day inquiry, the Inspector heard extensive evidence and rejected the arguments by the Appellant that the building was ‘substantially complete’ for the purposes of Ground (d). He noted and applied in his decision the important cases of Gravesham and the leading House of Lords authority of Sage.

On Ground (f) he rejected the notion of a ‘fallback position’ – and that further the only remedy would be the removal of the building.


On the enforcement matter, the Council pursued partial costs against the Appellant, on the basis that his pursuit of an appeal against the notice was unreasonable.

The Inspector agreed, noting – “I consider the appellant should have been aware, from at least the time the Council provided their proofs, that the ground (d) appeal had no chance of success, and to pursue it at the Inquiry was unreasonable…

“It seems to me that the ground (f) appeal had no chance of success and this should have been apparent to the appellant at least from the time he received the Council’s proofs with the footprint drawing.”

Section 78 Appeal

Similarly, on the planning permission, the Inspector rejected arguments related to the interpretation of the Council’s local policies, the NPPF and 5 year housing land supply.

In sum, the Inspector upheld the Council’s notice and refused planning permission for the development. He concluded that the house should therefore be demolished.

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