Michael Rudd, instructed by Philip Brown Associates Limited, successfully secured on appeal a lawful development certificate for a residential caravan site following a refusal by Fenland District Council.
The Council refused the certificate on the basis that there was an extant enforcement notice applying to the same use that alleged a breach of condition on a 1996 planning permission for a residential caravan site. A similar appeal had been dismissed by an Inspector in 2014. The appellant appealed the present refusal on the basis that the 1996 permission was never implemented and that the current use was immune from enforcement by the passage of time. The development that was constructed was material different to that which was granted planning permission in 1996, the differences being material and vitiating any suggestion of implementation or commencement and consequently the enforcement notice alleging a breach of condition of an expired planning permission has no effect.
The Inspector, applying the principles established in Commercial Land v SSCLG  JPL 358, found that the differences in the access arrangements, site layout and drainage services were sufficiently different such as to conclude that “…there is very little, if any resemblance between the developed site and the previously approved scheme…”. He found that the 1996 planning permission had expired, the 2005 enforcement notice had no effect and the existing use was immune from enforcement, granting the sought lawful development certificate.
The appeal decision can be found here.
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