Holt Pound, Farnham

Having made previous written enquiries in 2017 as to what was the ‘principle elevation; of the property and being made aware of the permitted development criteria for domestic outbuildings, the client had begun to construct a new outbuilding which was to provide an indoor swimming pool and gymnasium for his family’s use.

He was therefore rather surprised when the council’s enforcement team contacted him to suggest the structure he had built required planning permission.

ACHIEVE was instructed to make a rather unusual application for a Certificate of Lawfulness of proposed development: unusual because the structure was substantially complete already.  Nonetheless, the application was to establish that what had been built was within the government’s stated criteria of permitted development.

There was one false start, where East Hampshire District Council was citing caselaw and suggesting the outbuilding was too large to be ‘reasonably required’ for the applicant to use incidental to the enjoyment of his home.  It would not allow the late submission of rebuttal statements and a slight error had been made in terms of submitted plans and the precise positioning of the building on the plot.

Undeterred, ACHIEVE was instructed to withdraw the application and re-submit.  This time, the caselaw cited was carefully researched and found not to be relevant to this case.  Indeed, one of the cases found for the Appellant in the High Court. 

ACHIEVE was also able to carefully point to the council’s archive of other cases in the district, where the footprint of outbuildings which had been found to be lawful and incidental to their respective dwellings, was relatively high compared to the overall plot size, in comparison with the applicant’s site.

The ‘as built’ plans prepared also now confirmed the structure to meet all the permitted development criteria.

The council therefore was persuaded by ACHIEVE’s arguments and decided to issue a Certificate of Lawfulness and confirm that the planning enforcement case had been closed, with no further action to be taken.

Testimonial from the client:

“I received an unexpected notice from the planning authorities to remove a partially built swimming pool enclosure that had been built under permitted development. Steve assessed the situation and decided the best course of action was to submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness. Steve did an excellent job in putting together the application and responding to the planners’ requests. The process required two applications and the second was completed with a set of relevant case studies to reinforce the arguments. With Steve’s expertise and thoroughness we were successful and granted the certification.”