We are pleased to report another successful planning appeal for a conversion from an agricultural building to a detached residential dwelling. We were also successful in winning a full award of costs from the Council.
The prior notification application was submitted to Redditch Borough Council in June 2016 under the supposed simplified ‘Class Q’ permitted development regulations which were introduced for England in March 2013. Initially the council accepted the application, but then asked for further information in relation to flooding in the vicinity of the approach access drive. Later, the council refused the application as the building appeared to be in a non-agricultural use at the time of the Planning Officer’s site visit.
This is an interesting case - the Inspector’s conclusions help clarify two points arising from Class Q prior notification applications: first, whether the use of the building for agriculture at the time of the Council’s decision is relevant, and secondly whether the Council was correct to re-start the clock once the additional information was submitted.
Our appeal was made on the basis of two technical arguments arising from the Council’s misinterpretation of the Class Q regulations. We argued the Class Q building needed to have been in an agricultural use in March 2013 (as stated in the regulations) - whether it appeared that it may not have been in use for agriculture at the time of the Council’s visit was irrelevant. The Inspector agreed with us.
We also successfully argued that the Council had only 56 days from the original submission date to make its decision, but as it failed to do so, the Class Q regulations say a deemed grant of approval was given. Again, the Inspector agreed with us.
The Inspector also agreed that an award of costs against the Council was justified following our successful representations that the Council had behaved unreasonably.
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