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Appellant's deception robs him of enforcement time limit

In a rare application of the decision in Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] UKSC 15 concerning enforcement time limits in cases of deception, an Inspector has upheld an enforcement notice directed at the unauthorised conversion of a barn to create a dwelling, notwithstanding that the conversion had taken place more than four years before the enforcement notice was issued.

The Inspector accepted the local planning authority's case that in planning documents submitted on the appellant's behalf and in oral statements made by him he had deceived the authority about his occupation of the barn and was not entitled to rely on the enforcement time limit in section 171B(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The Inspector also rejected the appellant's case that the enforcement notice was a nullity because of alleged errors in the notice and the plan attached to it. All grounds of appeal were rejected, save that a longer compliance period (to which the authority did not object) was allowed.

Robin Green acted for Monmouthshire County Council, the local planning authority.

Click here to view the appeal decision.