Successful defence of lawful development certificate appeal

Planning Inspector Hywel Wyn Jones has recently dismissed an appeal against a refusal to grant a lawful development certificate in respect of residential accommodation which had originally been granted permission for holiday use only.

The appeal turned on whether the original planning permission had been implemented, which in turn required consideration of: (a) whether the permission was subject to a condition precedent (which had not been discharged) and (b) whether the works undertaken deviated from the plans to such an extent that they did not constitute implementation of the permission. The Inspector accepted the Council's submissions in respect of both of these issues, therefore concluding that the permission had been implemented. The result of this was that the "ten year rule" applied in respect of enforcement action which, the Appellant accepted, was not satisfied on the facts. The appeal was therefore dismissed.

The decision may be of interest to planning practitioners because it provides a helpful summary of the principles concerning the notoriously thorny issue of whether a planning permission has been implemented.

Katherine Barnes acted for the successful local authority, instructed by Ffion Lloyd at Ceredigion County Council. The decision is available here.