Richard Ground QC has major success in prior approval application

24 Jun 2022

Planning and Environment

Richard Ground QC’s clients secured a significant prior approval success. Prior approval was granted for an office to residential on a major headquarters building close to Heathrow. The Inspector set out the test to be applied to see if it falls within the curtilage of a listed building.

Richard was instructed by Iceni. Excellent evidence accepted by the inspector was given by Laurie Handcock and Nick Grant.

The issue was whether the headquarters building was within the curtilage of a listed building. If it is within the curtilage of a listed building the office to residential permission does not apply. The Inspector concluded that the correct test to apply for curtilage in the context of the Permitted development provisions was as follows.

“….the principal legal test to determine whether land or a building is within the curtilage of a building is the one derived from Methuen-Campbell v Walters [1979] 1 QB 525 and effectively endorsed by the Court of Appeal in Hampshire County Council v Blackbushe Airport Limited[2021] EWCA Civ 398 , namely that the land must be so intimately connected with the building as to lead to the conclusion that the former is in truth part and parcel of the latter. Although the Blackbushe Airport case concerned Common Land, the principals are equally applicable in determining whether land or buildings are within a curtilage of another building for the purposes of an application for prior approval under the GPDO.”

On the facts of the case the Inspector accepted that by the time of the application for prior approval the position was that the office building was no longer part of the curtilage of the listed building even if it had been before. It was that moment that was important for the grant of prior approval.

Please find theĀ appeal decision attached.