Despite an exchange of correspondence outlining the merits of our client’s case and the holes in the Council’s advanced arguments, Exeter City Council served an Enforcement Notice on the owners of this dwellinghouse, indicating that the dormer constituted operational development. Whilst the Enforcement Notice made no reference as to why the Council advanced this stance, our attention was previously drawn to a condition that the Council believes to remove permitted development rights.
C2C Planning Consultants asserted in our appeal statement that the dormer is permitted by Schedule 2, Part 1, Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 and, second, that those permitted development rights have not been removed by any condition on a relevant planning permission. With the help of our colleague Graham Gover, we successfully argued that all six limitations that would prevent development being permitted by the Class were met; even limitations (c) and (e) which are matters of interpretation.
In addition, we persuaded the Inspector that the condition the Council relied upon to remove permitted development rights was not precise and is therefore unenforceable.
“…the way the condition is worded strongly suggests that it is only permitted development rights within the curtilage of the dwellings that is being restricted. The headings within the 2015 GPDO do not form part of the statute but they do provide guidance. While the heading to Schedule 2, Part 1 is ‘Development Within the Curtilage of a Dwellinghouse’, only some of the Classes A to H refer to ‘curtilage’. Class B, ‘additions etc to the roof of a dwellinghouse’, is not one of them.
It may be that either or both of the terms ‘extensions’ and ‘other development’ in the condition are intended to embrace additions to the roof slopes. However, the very fact that the condition is ambiguous on the point and thus open to interpretation means that it is imprecise and therefore unenforceable. It cannot be said therefore to unequivocally remove the rights available under Schedule 2, Part 1, Class B of the 2015 GPDO…”
To the delight of our clients, the enforcement notice will be quashed.