Garden building must be demolished

Posted: 12th November 2012

A businessman will have to demolish an out-building at the bottom of his garden after the High Court ruled that its use by his non-resident employees as an office cannot be viewed as a use which is ‘incidental’ to the enjoyment of a dwelling and that its construction was therefore not covered by permitted development rights.

Ednor Mata had challenged an enforcement notice issued by the London Borough of Brent in March 2011, and upheld by a Government planning inspector in August the same year, that required him to remove the building which spans almost the width of his garden in Wembley, north London.Shed

Permitted development rights allow certain structures to be built in the grounds of homes to create extra space for uses viewed as incidental to enjoyment of the dwelling. The inspector had found that, although the building had also been used as a utility room, games room and for storage, its intended use for business purposes was decisive and that it had been constructed in breach of planning control.

Mr Mata argued that demolition of the structure was unnecessary and that the local planning authority’s concerns could be met by modifications to the building, including removal of a kitchen, toilet and shower facilities.

However, dismissing his appeal, the court ruled that, when built, the structure was not incidental to enjoyment of the dwelling. Permitted development rights could not be claimed retrospectively and it had not been open to the inspector to substitute for the demolition order a requirement for modifications to be made. Mr Mata was given six months in which to arrange the building’s removal.