Planning Loophole Upheld as Man Keeps House


A man who requested his local council to give him a certificate of lawfulness after living in a property in breach of the existing planning permission for four years has seen his stratagem bear fruitin the Court of Appeal.
Alan Beesley obtained permission in 2002 to build an agricultural building on green belt land, but instead of using it for agricultural purposes, he turned it into a three-bedroom home. From the outside the property looks like a conventional barn,  which is presumably why the local council failed to notice the breach of planning permission.

Lord Justice Mummery commented that the decision was “a surprising outcome which decent law abiding citizens will find incomprehensible” as a public authority that had been “deceived into granting planning permission by a dishonest planning application can be required by law to issue an official certificate to the culprit consolidating the fruit of the fraud."


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