In James Fowler v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government and Ealing Council, it was held that the planning Inspector was entitled to refuse listed building consent and planning permission for the demolition and reconstruction of an unused Grade II listed building.

The planning authority and the inspector had already refused the applications for the permission and consent, and this was the challenge against the refusals on appeal. Amongst the various grounds argued by the claimant was that it was a breach of his human rights not to allow the applications to proceed. The claimant argued that his right to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions had been breached, as well as the right to respect for family life and right to respect for private life (despite the fact that the claimant was already the owner of a five bedroom, two bathroom house).

It was found that there was no such breach of human rights because the right to peaceful enjoyment of the premises does not include the right to develop it in whatever manner the owner thinks appropriate. Furthermore, it was held that the right to respect for family life does not mean that a person has the right to conduct family life at a particular place of his choosing, and that the lawful application of planning control does not constitute an unjustified or disproportionate interference with the right to respect for private life.