Avon Estates Ltd v (1) Welsh Ministers (2) Ceredigion County Council (2011)

Avon was granted four temporary permissions for the erection of holiday bungalows and chalets between 1964 and 1973. It was a condition on each that the consent would expire on a set date and the site would then be returned to its former use. The permissions also required the properties to be maintained "throughout the period" of the permission and limited occupancy to seasonal use. In fact, the bungalows remained after the expiry of the permission.

Avon applied for certificates of lawfulness of existing use and appealed the non-determination to the Planning Inspectorate. The Inspector held that although the maintenance obligation was spent, the seasonal use condition had not been breached and was still extant, so seasonal certificates of lawful use were granted.

On appeal, the court agreed with Avon that it would be "illogical and internally inconsistent with construing these permissions to give the seasonal use condition of each permission a life after the specified date". At the end of the temporary period the bungalows were no longer authorised by those consents so the conditions were irrelevant. The maintenance obligation was a positive one so it was necessary to word it to ensure that it ran for the duration of the permission. The seasonal use condition was a restriction which would clearly last for the duration and no further words were needed.