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.....Appeal decisions (official)

Appeal Decisions

Site visit made on 12 April 2011
by Stuart Reid D Arch (Hons) RIBA
an Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Decision date: 9 June 2011

Two appeals at Romney House, Luxted Road, Downe, ORPINGTON BR6 7JX


• The appeals are made under section 174 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991.
• The appeals are made by Mr Alfred Anthony Locke against 2 enforcement notices issued by the Council of the London Borough of Bromley.
• The Council's reference is 09/00285.
• The notices were issued on 14 October 2010.

Appeal A: APP/G5180/C/10/2142478

• The breach of planning control as alleged in the notice is without planning permission, the material change of use of the land from a Dwellinghouse (Class C3) to a mixed use of Dwellinghouse (Class C3) and Cat Rescue Centre (‘Sui Generis').
• The requirements of the notice are to cease the use of the Land as a cat rescue centre.
• The period for compliance with the requirements is 2 months.
• The appeal is proceeding on the grounds set out in section 174(2) (a), (c), and (g) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended. Since the prescribed fees have been paid within the specified period, the application for planning permission deemed to have been made under section 177(5) of the Act as amended also falls to be considered.

Appeal B: APP/G5180/C/10/2142480

• The breach of planning control as alleged in the notice is without planning permission, the erection of a detached outbuilding at the point shown hatched on the plan attached to the notice, for the purpose of use as a cat rescue centre.
• The requirements of the notice are to:
1. Remove from the Land the detached outbuilding used as a cat rescue centre, described in paragraph 3, and
2. Remove all materials associated with 1. above.
• The period for compliance with the requirements is 1 month.
• The appeal is proceeding on the grounds set out in section 174(2) (a), (c), (f), and (g) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended. Since the prescribed fees have been paid within the specified period, the application for planning permission deemed to have been made under section 177(5) of the Act as amended also falls to be considered.

Decisions

Appeal A: APP/G5180/C/10/2142478
1. The appeal is allowed and the enforcement notice is quashed.

Appeal B: APP/G5180/C/10/21424802. No further action will be taken in connection with this appeal. Appeal Decisions APP/G5180/C/10/2142478 and APP/G5180/C/10/2142480 http://www.planning-inspectorate.gov.uk 2

 

Procedural matters

3. After Appeal B had been made the Council, on 10 March 2011, withdrew the enforcement notice to which it related. There is therefore no appeal to determine, and I shall take no further action in connection with it.

Application for costs

4. An application for costs was made by the appellant against the Council of the London Borough of Bromley. This application will be the subject of a separate Decision.

Appeal A: the appeal on ground (c)

5. The appeal site contains a dwellinghouse, Romney House, which is on a substantial plot, and much of it to the rear of the property is a field. There are domestic garden areas around the dwelling. At the rear and close to the northern boundary of the site there is a detached garage, store and workshop building, for which planning permission was granted under ref. 84/01155/FUL in 1984. It is reached by a drive which runs along the southern boundary of the site. The rear part of the site, close to the detached garage and the domestic garden, contains 8 detached garden buildings on a concrete base. The appellants run Romney House Cat Rescue from these buildings, and they house a number of cats, with associated storage.

6. The cat rescue operation has been running from this site since 1998, and has been a registered charity since 2007. It accepts cats from the Cats Protection League, the RSPCA, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and Animal Samaritans, amongst others. It provides accommodation and food on site, as well as veterinary treatment at a local surgery. The cats are housed until a home is found for them, and this amounts to about 150 cats a year, or 3 a week. As I saw at my visit, the size of the accommodation restricts the number of cats that can be housed at any one time. The licence issued by the Council limits the number to 35 cats, but the number is normally below this limit.

7. The evidence from the Council's Officers in the past has been that the level of provision for the cats has not caused a material change of use. The modest area of garden buildings used for this activity is not dissimilar to a reasonable level of ancillary use for many other acceptable ancillary residential uses. The level and type of activity, including housing and finding new homes for only about 3 cats a week, out of a possible maximum of 35 cats on the site at any one time, is evidently akin to a hobby. For that reason it is clearly ancillary to the residential use. As a matter of fact and degree, a material change of use to a mixed use of Dwellinghouse and Cat Rescue Centre has not occurred, and in consequence the appeal succeeds on ground (c).
Appeal A: conclusions

8. For the reasons given above I conclude that Appeal A should succeed on ground (c). Accordingly the enforcement notice will be quashed. In these circumstances the appeal under grounds (a) and (g), and the deemed planning application, do not need to be considered.

Stuart Reid
INSPECTOR

What harm is a collection of sheds containing rescue cats doing here?

What harm is a collection of sheds containing rescue cats doing here?

Romney House Cat Rescue - owners residence & roadside perspective

Romney House Cat Rescue - owners residence & roadside perspective

The rescue sheds are grouped together, on their own at the rear of the property beyond the EXISTING outbuilding!

The rescue sheds are grouped together, on their own at the rear of the property beyond the EXISTING outbuilding!

Its just a few wooden sheds housing domestic cats!?

Its just a few wooden sheds housing domestic cats!?

apprehensive

apprehensive

afraid

afraid

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