Material change of use: open space to residential garden

Inspector’s decision

Brian Hardy v Harborough DC; appeal against enforcement notice; appeal decision 24 Sept 2018; land at 6 and 8 Cordonnier Close, Broughton Astley LE9 6HR

https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?Caseid=3188404&CoID=0

Summary

Does a change of use from open space to residential garden (achieved by fencing off the land and subsequent purchase) amount to a material change of use?  The inspector decided fencing of this land to be used as residential garden by the appellant and his neighbour, as a matter of fact and degree, has prevented its use by members of the public and has resulted in a material change in the open character of the land so as to result in a material change of use for which planning permission is required.

Commentary

The enforcement notice does not and probably could not contain a requirement to allow members of the public to use the land.  The land is now in private ownership and was never formally adopted as open space by the authority.  It will be interesting to see if and how easily it reverts back to a space used by members of the public in these circumstances.

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