This case started for us when we were contacted by our client after their recent retrospective application had been refused by Cornwall Council and a decision notice had been issued to our client refusing the application.
The client felt the decision was unjustified and that many parts of the enforcement notice were false with incorrect information being stated by Cornwall Council. The client stated that should they loose this enforcement appeal then they would be homeless.
The building was already in place and used previously as a storage shed and had been in need of repair and renovation which our client had completed.
Are client was not prepared to simply give in to the enforcement notice especially as they felt that it was incorrect in many parts., and wanted the merits of his case taking to the Planning inspectorate.
The enforcement notice was served on 19th July 2021 and our client had until 23rd August to appeal which is 28day.
The vast majority of enforcement cases have 28 days to appeal, some enforcement cases have had a slightly extended time scale during the pandemic of a futher 7 or 10 days to appeal.
The client instructed us to proceed immediately, with planning enforcement appeals due to the dramatically reduced appeal time scale it is vitally important that we start the appeal documentation as quickly as possible.
The enforcement notice reasons were stated that it had appeared to Cornwall Council that a Breach in Planning Control had occurred within the last 4 years.
The material change of use and operational development in question was undertaken less than 4 years ago.
The development results in a material impact on the amenities of the neighbouring property due to overlooking of the private rear amenity space of 49 Wellington Terrace caused by the close position of the development is, therefore, contrary to Policy 12 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010-2013 and Paragraph 127 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.
Additionally, the development, by reason of its design and appearance, use of colourful cladding and uPVC fenestration does not conserve or enhance the Conservation Area, Consequently, the development fails to accord with Policies 2, 12 and 24 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010-2030 and paragraphs 124, 127, 185, 186, 192, 193, 196 and 200 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.
The Council do not consider that planning permission should be given, because planning conditions could not overcome these objections to the development.
The council required as part of the enforcement notice that our client:
1- Cease the use of the building for residential purposes.
2- Remove all the uPVC windows from the building and reinstate timber ones
3- Remove the plastic cladding from the building and reinstate timber materials as original.
The council gave our client 12 months for compliance after the notice took effect on 23rd August.
This enforcement notice was very comprehensive and clear what the council’s wishes were and when they wanted them complied with.
We at HEAL Planning have a lot of experience dealing with enforcement notices in Cornwall and across England as a whole. With both in house Legal and planning teams who both work on the case providing our clients with their best chance of success.
For this appeal we produced a very details enforcement appeal statement that was 49 pages deep. Building a case that detailed each part of the councils reasons to be wrong and why Cornwall Council were wrong to issue this enforcement notice.
We also were able to prove that some of the work listed in the enforcement notice was in fact completed over four years prior to the enforcement notice being issued and was in fact immune to enforcement action altogether.
Providing a comprehensive and robust argument, bringing national and local policies into play, and detailed reasoning as to why the findings were wrong, and in-fact this development was perfectly acceptable.
Additionally our client provided a complete detailed list of other properties in the area that were similar and we completed a further amount of research to find very similar cases, that the planning inspectorate had previously granted, and we looked to use these cases to support our argument as best possible.
The appeal was made under grounds ‘a’ ‘c’ ‘d’ ‘e’ and ‘f’
As this appeal was an Enforcement appeal the local authority, which in this case was the Cornwall Council, have the right of response to our appeal statement.
Cornwall exercised their right to respond and provided a detailed 36 page document in response to our appeal statement in an attempt to strengthen their argument and overcome the details and facts we had put forward.
We produced a rebuffal document to counter Cornwall Councils response to our Appeal Statement and our client also produced a 5 page statement that related to other local non planning matters.
This case like the vast majority of similar cases, was dealt with by way of Written Representation, and as such it is paramount that the argument is very comprehensive and robust from the start as there is no second chance to respond.
The inspector visited the appeal site on 31st January 2022 and issued the appeal decision on 14th February 2022 in a seven page very detailed report.
The good news was that the appeal was upheld and the permission granted with previously agreed conditions.
Planning Enforcement Appeal Cornwall Council Case Study
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