High Court Quashes Unlawful Prior Approval for Maize Storage Bunker and Effluent Tank in Herefordshire

The Claimant challenged the grant by Herefordshire Council of prior approval for a Maize Storage Bunker and Effluent Tank on a farm neighbouring, and within the setting of, her property, the Grade II* Listed Gillow Manor. The challenge was brought on three grounds: (1) misdirection as to Class A, Part 6 of Schedule 2 of the GPDO 2015; (2) unlawful retrospective development in breach of the GPDO and contrary to the principle in Winters v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government [2017] PTSR 568; and (3) insufficient inquiry into compliance with the statutory requirements contrary to the principles set out by the court in the recent case of R (Smolas) v Herefordshire Council [2021] PTSR 1896.

Permission was granted by the High Court on grounds 2 and 3 on 3 December 2021. Subsequently, the Defendant conceded on ground 3, in particular, on the basis that it had failed to undertake sufficient inquiries for the purposes of establishing that the application was for permitted development within the class. See the Consent Order here.

The case is an important application of recent case law principles as a result of Smolas and serves as a warning to local planning authorities that the court will intervene where insufficient inquiry is made into applications for prior approval.

Daniel Stedman Jones acted for the successful Claimant, instructed by Richard Buxton Solicitors.