A Lawful Development Certificate allowed on appeal has provided certainty for a homeowner wishing to sell his property.

The property had been used as a mixed use of residential and workshop.  Following the sale of the business the owner wished to be able to sell the property as a dwelling house.

Although the Planning Authority had advised that the application was acceptable a decision was not made and a Planning Appeal against non-determination was made on behalf of the landowner.

Court Case reports were submitted as evidence.  These cases have established that the cessation of one element in a composite use of land would not necessarily result in a material change of use. It is a question of fact and degree as to whether the subsequent use of the land is materially different from the earlier composite use. It was also been established that the discontinuance of the use of land cannot of itself amount to a change of use.

The Planning Inspector concluded as a matter of fact and degree, having regard to the layout of the property and the appellant’s proposal, that a wholly residential use of all of the floor space would not amount to development requiring planning permission within the meaning of section 55 of the Planning Act.

The Inspector also concluded that the delay in issuing a decision was unreasonable behaviour by the Planning Authority and a full award of costs was made in favour of the appellant.

At J & J Design we have been advising landowners for over 40 years.  Please contact us for advice.