Constanze Bell successfully represented Bromsgrove District Council in an appeal against the Council’s refusal to grant a certificate of lawful use or development (LDC).

The Appellant had applied for a certificate of lawfulness to establish that use of an ancillary building and associated land for storage would be lawful following severance of ownership and occupation to create two separate planning units. One planning unit would contain the residential property and remain in residential use; the other planning unit would contain the (formerly) ancillary building and its surrounding land and would be put to a storage use.

The Council refused the application because it considered that if the appeal site were to be severed from the residential property then it would become a new separate planning unit in storage use. The Council considered that this would be a material change of use and therefore would be development requiring planning permission. The Appellant contended that planning permission would not be required for the use of the appeal site for storage following its severance from the residential property because the use before and after the severance would not be materially different. 

The hearing raised an interesting point regarding whether or not the severance of the functional link between the primary use and the ancillary use amounted to a change that would be material in planning terms.

The inspector found that the consequence of using the appeal site for storage unconnected to any residential use would bring about a definable change in the character of the use which would significantly alter the rural character of the land. The use of the appeal site for storage unconnected to the residential property would be therefore be a material change of use within the meaning of s55 of the 1990 Act and would be development requiring planning permission. The inspector accordingly determined that the Council’s refusal was well founded and the appeal was dismissed.

Constanze was instructed by Amar Hussain of Bromsgrove & Redditch Legal Services. The Planning Officer was Claire Gilbert.

To view a copy of the Appeal decision click here


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