This case questioned the application of rule 12 of the Town and Country Planning (Hearings Procedure) (England) Rules 2000. It involved a dispute over the conduct of an inspector in an appeal against a refusal by the council to grant planning permission for a replacement dwelling. While conducting the appeal, the inspector refused to physically visit the site in question, instead choosing to view it by standing on a nearby pavement on the boundary. This was despite the fact the local authority had requested a site visit. The inspector went on to determine that the site would have a significant visual impact on the neighbourhood, making it inappropriate to grant permission.
The conduct of the inspector was held to be in breach of the rules because, if a request by a local authority was made for such a visit, rule 12(2)(b) of the rules applied, making it compulsory to conduct a site visit. Such a request could not be met simply by making observations from outside of the site.