A Lawful Development Certificate has been granted to confirm the replacement of a mobile home which had been in residential use for more than 10 years.

Evidence was submitted to establish that the mobile home had been on the site for a number of years and that it had been occupied as a dwellinghouse.  The LDC application was for the proposed replacement of the existing mobile home with a larger mobile home measuring 19.5m x 6.5m and therefore falling within the definition of a ‘caravan’ as set out in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (as amended). It was submitted that the stationing of a replacement mobile home for occupation does not amount to ‘development’ as defined in Section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Planning Authority concluded that the photographic evidence of the interior of the building demonstrated conclusively that the caravan on the site had been occupied as a dwellinghouse by the former occupant.  They were therefore satisfied that C3 residential use is the current and ongoing use of the site.  They were also prepared to accept on the “balance of probability” that the use had existed for more than 10 years.

Although the proposed mobile home is twice as long as the existing and about 75% wider the Council accepted that it would provide a scale of accommodation suitable for a single household of up to six people and would meet the statutory definition of a caravan and would not constitute operational development.

As such, it was concluded that the proposed use of the land would be the same as the current, lawful use of the land, and that no operational development or material change of use requiring planning permission would take place.

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