The local Authority made an application to quash the decision of the planning inspector to grant planning permission. The respondent homeowners had planning permission to convert a barn on their land into ancillary residential accommodation for a dependant relative. The planning permission authorised a change of use and “alteration or extension to existing buildings”.
Building works began, yet after initial dismantlement, the Authority decided that the conversion was effectively demolishing and rebuilding the barn, and went beyond what was permitted. The Authority served both an Enforcement Notice and a Stop Notice. The landowners, effectively left with a ruin, appealed against the Enforcement Notice. The Appeal was allowed by the Inspector stating that the completed building would not provide any additional effects on the character of the area than the original approved scheme for the barn.
The Authority challenged the inspector’s decision, arguing that the correct starting point was the original barn and not the original planning permission. The challenge was, however, unsuccessful. The Inspector had not adopted the wrong starting point, by reference to the site history. The application was made for the development carried out, namely the part demolition of the building and accordingly the planning permission was a material consideration. Arguments to quash on the basis of demolition being outside the remit of the permission were rejected as the permission had authorised some element of demolition and rebuilding.