West Law Report

BARNETT v SECRETARY OF STATE FOR COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Posted in Westlaw Reports by mrkooenglish on June 25, 2008

Last Updated: 5:51PM BST 25/06/2008
Queen’s Bench Division (Admin) Sullivan J June 20, 2008
Building extensions – Curtilage – Local authorities – Planning permission – Plans Grants of planning permission for building extensions – Existence of implicit extensions to curtilage of buildings

FACTS

The appellant (B) appealed against a decision of a planning inspector appointed by the first respondent secretary of state to uphold a refusal of planning permission by the second respondent local authority. B further applied to quash decisions of the planning inspector to uphold enforcement notices issued by the local authority. The planning authority had granted B planning permission to erect a detached dwelling on agricultural land. The plans approved by the local authority clearly delineated the curtilage of the property on the plans by means of a red line. B subsequently obtained planning permission to extend the property. No permission was sought or granted to extend the curtilage of the property. B subsequently built a number of leisure facilities that were associated with the extension. When the local authority became aware of those facilities it issued enforcement notices requiring their removal. B’s application for retrospective planning permission for the facilities was refused by the local authority. B contended that the permission to extend the property had necessarily included an extension to the curtilage of the property as extended, and that the original plans for property could not be shown as definitely marking the curtilage of the extended property.

ISSUE

Whether the permission to extend the property had necessarily included an extension to the curtilage of the property as extended, and that the original plans for property could not be shown as definitely marking the curtilage of the extended property.

HELD (judgment accordingly)

The general rule in interpreting a grant of planning permission that, on its face, was unambiguous, was that regard could only be had to the permission itself, including the conditions in it and the express reasons for those conditions. No regard could be given to the planning application or other extrinsic evidence unless the permission incorporated the application by reference, R v Ashford BC Ex p Shepway DC [1999] PLCR 12 applied. However, plans were an essential part of any grant of planning permission, and it could not be said that such a grant was to be interpreted without having regard to the plans that accompanied it. The extent to which those plans would matter would vary from case to case. In the instant case the planning inspector was entitled to conclude, having regard to the plans that were before him, that the planning permission for the extension to the building had not extended the curtilage of the property and that it remained as marked on the plans for the original grant of planning permission. Further, the inspector had been entitled to find that the leisure facilities erected by B were contrary to planning policy and fell to be removed.

Clive Newbury QC (instructed by Sharpe Pritchard) for the appellant. Andrew Sharland (instructed by Treasury Solicitor) for the respondent.

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