In Mohamed v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government  EWHC 4045 (Admin) the local planning authority was concerned about the erection of a dwelling in the rear garden of residential premises. A pre-existing garage had been modified. The enforcement notice was directed at the erection of a dwelling, the Inspector's report, on appeal, did not. Ms Mohamed accepted that the garage roof had been altered. The Inspector's report, which was disarmingly short, dealt with the use of the garage as a dwelling but not the erection of a dwelling.
On a statutory appeal the Inspector's decision was quashed. The Inspector had failed to grapple with what operations had been carried out. The Court could not cure that level of deficiency by implying passages into the report and the change of use findings were irrelevant to the appeal.
This case is a reminder that Inspectors must only consider the grounds of challenge to the enforcement notice and not the planning history of the site.
Michael Paget acted for Ms Mohamed.