Our client had built an outbuilding 8 metres by 6 metres in a relatively small back garden for use as a gym (with bathroom), playroom and storage space. An Enforcement Notice was issued by the London Borough of Brent requiring its complete demolition. We took the case to an Enforcement Appeal and won.
London Borough of Brent
There were three issues to be argued at appeal. Firstly, that the outbuilding should be given planning permission due to no harm being caused. Secondly, that it could be built under permitted development rights in line with the General Permitted Development Order (we considered that the use was incidental ). Thirdly, that it could not to be used as a separate self contained planing unit or self contained accommodation.
We sourced a number of precedents, examining both local appeals and local planning applications. This was supplemented by case law sourced from the Court of Appeal and High Courts. A character appraisal of the local area was also undertaken to persuade the appeal inspector that the development had little impact; and evidence presented to prove that, on the balance of probability, the outbuilding could not be separated from the main dwelling.
The inspector allowed the appeal and quashed the enforcement notice.
Time and again we see innocent homeowners build outbuildings that they think benefit from permitted development rights, only for the Council to try and rip them down due to a misunderstanding of what is and isn’t ‘incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse’. We think it is a shame that more Council enforcement departments do not heed PPG18 and the recommended lenience that should be afforded to private homeowners.