Grange v Harrogate Borough Council 2009 - Analysis

R. (on the application of Grange) v Harrogate BC
Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court)

23 June 2009

Case Analysis

Where Reported
[2009] EWHC 1997 (Admin); Official Transcript

Case Digest
Subject: Planning
Keywords: Amendments; Barn conversions; Caravan sites; Enforcement notices; Planning conditions; Planning inspectors; Service

Summary: There was no requirement to re-serve an enforcement notice when it had been varied by an inspector pursuant to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s.176.


Abstract: The appellant (G) appealed against a planning inspector's decision that he had stationed a caravan on land without planning permission, and he also applied to quash the inspector's decision that planning permission to convert some barns should be subject to certain conditions. The respondent local authority had issued an enforcement notice for breach of planning control alleging that G had, without planning permission, changed the use of his site to the mixed purpose of agriculture and stationing a caravan. When G appealed, the inspector amended the notice to specify that the caravan was for residential use, before dismissing the appeal. In regard to the barn conversions, the local authority had considered G's planning application on the basis of the amended plan before it and refused to accede to his late request to revert to the original plan. G submitted, among other things, that the inspector had erred in law by (1) altering the notice; (2) failing to effect service of the enforcement notice as varied by him; (3) failing to take proper account of his operations in engineering, building, agriculture and forestry, which permitted him to use the caravan for accommodation, in accordance with the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 Sch.1 para.7 to para.10; (4) failing to take into account correspondence with the local authority about whether it should consider the original or the amended barn conversion plans.

Appeal dismissed. (1) The inspector had power under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s.176(2) to correct any defect in an enforcement notice or vary its terms, if it would not cause injustice to the addressee or local authority. The parties had agreed that the primary use of the caravan was residential, so the inspector rightly formed the view that the amendment could be made without injustice to either party. Indeed, nothing had been put forward to show that the amendment caused any injustice at all and so the variation was lawful. (2) There was no requirement to re-serve an enforcement notice when it had been varied by an inspector pursuant to s.176, Masefield v Taylor [1987] J.P.L. 721 applied. In any event, there was no evidence of any prejudice to G. (3) The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 Sch.2 on permitted development of caravan sites, read in conjunction with the 1960 Act, was concerned with caravans used for the accommodation of persons employed in connection with building or engineering operations. Much of the work in the instant case had taken place before the caravan had been brought on to the land, and the later work was only maintenance or repairs, not significant building or engineering operations. Therefore the site did not benefit from the permitted development rights. (4) The inspector was entitled to look at the planning application as it stood when it was determined. There was no suggestion that any evidence was put before him to show that he should deal with it differently. To insert an alternative condition would mean that it would be a different development, and so it might raise matters on which any interested parties would wish to comment.
Judge: Silber, J.
Counsel: For the claimant: In person. For the defendant: Sarah-Jane Davies.
Significant Cases Cited
Masefield v Taylor
[1987] J.P.L. 721; DC
All Cases Cited
Sort by:
R. (on the application of Reprotech (Pebsham) Ltd) v East Sussex CC
[2002] UKHL 8; [2003] 1 W.L.R. 348; [2002] 4 All E.R. 58; [2003] 1 P. & C.R. 5; [2002] 2 P.L.R. 60; [2002] J.P.L. 821; [2002] 10 E.G. 158 (C.S.); [2002] N.P.C. 32; Times, March 5, 2002; Official Transcript; HL
Masefield v Taylor
[1987] J.P.L. 721; DC
Legislation Cited
Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (c.42)
Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (c.42) Sch.1
Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 (c.62) Sch.1 para.7
Circular 11/95
Circular 11/95 para.84
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995 418) Part 5
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995 418)
Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (SI 1995 418) Sch.2
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.173(1)(a)
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.174(2)
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.288
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.172
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.174
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.78
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.176
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) s.176(2)
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (c.8) Sch.1 para.10
Journal Articles
R. (on the application of Grange) v Harrogate BC
Amendments; Caravans; Enforcement notices; Permitted development; Planning applications; Planning inspectors.
J.P.L. 2010, 1, 101