Unconditional approval for the continued use of a derelict barn on the outskirts of Newtown Linford, Leicestershire, as a residential dwelling, has been granted by Charnwood Borough Council.
On behalf of the client, HBR Estates Ltd, Pegasus Group presented an articulate case backed by substantial witness statements, documentary and photographic evidence to secure the Certificate of Lawfulness (CLEUD) under section 191 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
The experienced team at Pegasus Group were able to demonstrate the material change of use of the building to an independent dwelling, along with the material change of use of the associated land to residential curtilage, were lawful and that the time period in which enforcement action could have been taken, had expired.
Eleanor Overton, Associate Planner, said: “The site lies within Charnwood Forest and the National Forest and is surrounded by ancient woodland. When our client approached us to discuss developing it for residential purposes, we advised that in the absence of significant material considerations in favour, residential development would be very difficult to achieve.”
Following a site visit and some investigative searches it became clear that the existing barn on the site had been converted into a dwelling and occupied for residential purposes for many years, although had since fallen into a poor state of repair and was no longer occupied.
Eleanor added: “Based on caselaw, we were able to advise our client that if we could gather sufficient evidence to prove the use was lawful and had not been abandoned, we could make an application for a Certificate of Existing Lawful Use.
“The necessary evidence was gathered and a case was compiled and submitted to the Local Planning Authority. The Certificate application was thereafter granted unconditionally on the basis of the material submitted. This certificate confirms that the site has a lawful residential status, which will now facilitate its re-development.”
And she concluded: “This was a complex case, but one that only goes to show that sometimes those sites which seem impossible on paper should not be discounted; what initially seemed like an impossibility has turned out to be a site with significant opportunity and value.”
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