Wed, 04 Nov 2015
Kevin Leigh recently helped a client obtain prior approval on appeal for a barn conversion to a dwellinghouse in the green belt in Epping, Essex. It fell within Sched. 2, part 3, Class Q of the Town and County Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order (GPDO) 2015. The issue was whether the location or siting of the building made it impractical or desirable for it to be used as a dwellinghouse. The council argued that its distance from the highway and the condition of the unmade track that led to it would make it impractical for access by ordinary vehicles, particularly in poor weather. The council also argued that it was undesirable from a planning view point being located remotely in the green belt. The inspector concluded that a prospective resident would occupy the building knowing the condition of the access and the distance to the highway, and although the access might not suit all vehicles it would not preclude all vehicle access. As a result she conclude that use for the building for residential purposes would not be unrealistic or harmful in terms of access. She took into account the PPG guidance updated in March 2015 at para. 109 that advised planning authorities should apply a reasonable ordinary dictionary meaning to the terms impartial or undesirable. The appeal had been the culmination of many years of planning and enforcement appeals regarding the use of the land and the barn in particular. The client had instructed Kevin throughout to work with his various planning advisers overseeing the preparation of evidence and appearing as advocate on appeal when necessary.
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