How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25425
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
35043042
Type Your Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

i purchase a paddock (1/2 acre) in 2001, on it were several

Customer Question

i purchase a paddock (1/2 acre) in 2001, on it were several old poultry sheds.. it was redundant agricultural land. it was part of an old farm which had just been granted pp for conversion of the old barns. the barns were all within the red line. the paddock was within the blue line. the poultry units on the paddock were shown on the approved plans as designated for domestic/storage use. the pp referred to the approved plans i.e. the pp must be carried out in strict accordance with the approved plans. from day 1 i stored items in the sheds and on the land. in or about 2002 the sheds were removed due to their appearance. materials were still stored on the old slabs and on the paddock. over the years materials, plant and other items were stored on the land. planning officials visited the main site on numerous occasions and have commented that they witnessed the storage of materials on the land. in 2011 the council were informed of the situation and the council asked me to remove a trailer and certain bags of bricks. they did not ask me to remove any further materials. no enforcement formal enforcement action was ever taken. to this day there are still building materials etc. on the site. my question is do i need to apply for a certificate of lawfulness if the approved drawings permit the use of the sheds for storage? could the council argue that the sheds were only to be used for storage and therefore not open storage? does the permission run with the land as well as the buildings, however this may become irrelevant because it is easy to show that the storage has also taken place away from the sheds. does B8 use cover all forms of storage?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi nicola


 


it isn't that difficult!!! surely you have some property lawyers Surprised

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

I am sorry you have had to wait for a reply on the above. May I assist you with the same?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi joshua


 


i look forward to your answer.....

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
thank you. From what I understand, the land is agricultural however when you purchased the land, it had planning permission for barn conversions. With these permissions implemented either by completing development or by commencing work or happhave the y planning permissions expired?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi barns completed in 2004. land was classed as redundant agricultural land, which the council accepted at the time of the original application - 1999.

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
thank you. On the basis that the land in question is agricultural then you can reasonably store such items which are necessary for the pursuit of agricultural use of the land however I note from what you say that the materials in question are predominately non-agricultural related and accordingly this is unlikely to assist.

however, on the basis you can demonstrate that you have been using the land to storage of such items for 10 years or more consecutively following the removal of the sheds then continuing user in this way will be deemed lawful through long use under section 1 Town & Country Planning Act 1990. on this basis, an argument with regards XXXXX XXXXX or not storage changed following the removal of the sheds becomes academic as from what you say, you can demonstrate 10 years or more of storage following the removal of the sheds.

Notwithstanding the above, there is an argument to be made by the council as to a distinction between storage of items within the sheds and storage of items outside of the sheds which could be an issue however based upon the above, this would appear to be academic if you can demonstrate 10 years of continuous storage outside of the sheds following their removal.

The period which you would need to demonstrate would be the period from which storage outside of the sheds commenced and the date which the council takes formal enforcement action by service of an enforcement notice. what you say, they have yet to serve a formal enforcement notice and accordingly, the "clock" continues to tick until such time as they do.

there is no need to apply for a certificate of lawful use as the use is lawful by virtue of the above legislation. However, certificate of lawful use can be useful because it is evidence that the council have accepted, albeit reluctantly perhaps, but on the basis of the evidence supplier, you have been able to demonstrate 10 years of continuous use and this can be useful for example if you are planning to sell the property at some point in the future where enforcement action for storage may be a concern to the buyer

is the anything above I can clarify for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi joshua


 


thanks for that. i no longer own any of the barns or other land associated with the remaining poultry shed land, does that matter?


 


the original poultry sheds all had large runs with them which i have photographs, these went well into the paddock. furthermore one of the main existing storage sites is the original shed floor slab.


 


judging by your response, and the fact the council despite their knowledge of the storage, have still not issued enforcement proceedings is it best just to leave things as they are?


 


i intend to apply for either change of use to B1 or apply for C3 in the future and if i do i will be looking at stating the existing use is B8. is it down to the council to dispute that at the application stage?

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
if you have no particular plans to sell the property in the immediate future and the council are not pursuing active enforcement action against you, there may be a good argument for letting sleeping dogs lie. At worst if you later decide to apply for an application for a lawful development certificate, you may have even more years under your belt to which you could show you have continued to use the land for which is only likely to be of benefit.

the fact that you do not own other land which has previously part of the same title does not impact the planning position directly in relation to the land which is the subject of this question.

If you come to apply for a change of use, you can claim that the use of the land has been used for a particular use class at that stage and as you say, it would be for the council to dispute that use at that point if they do not accept the same.

is there anything else I can help you with?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

if i apply for pp in the near future is it likely that the council will bring up the fact that i am calling the existing use of the site 'B8' despite not having applied for a certificate in the past. or will the council already be aware of the fact that the original approved plans already state the sheds/land were to be used for storage/residential use?

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
They would be likely to raise it at that stage. They may ask you for evidence of the established use you claim if it is relevant to consideration for change of use which is likely to be the case. If that evidence is accepted then it may obviate the need to first apply for a certificate prior to the application itself.

when you are ready to make the application of the change of use, you may consider requesting some pre-application advice on the point before you pay be planning application fee so you understand how the planning officer is likely to deal with the situation

is there anything else I can help you with?
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Are you happy with the information I have provided to you above or is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi


 


one final point, if the whole site is just under an acre but over the years all of it has not been used for storage how does the council decide what area has a change of use, how is it possible to allocate certain parts, what happens to the rest of the paddock?

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
I would be delighted to continue to assist. I should be grateful if you could kindly take a moment to rate my service to you to date. I will happily assist you with your follow up query without further charge.

Kind regards
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25425
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi


 


 


 


one final point, if the whole site is just under an acre but over the years all of it has not been used for storage how does the council decide what area has a change of use, how is it possible to allocate certain parts, what happens to the rest of the paddock?

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
Many thanks. The extent area of land that will be considered to be included when determining the area that benefits from planning use for the established use is determined by establishing the appropriate "planning unit". This is determined by estabishing the appropriate "curtilage". This will not necessarily be the same as the boundaries for the land though it often will particularly for smaller properties - e.g. a house with a standard garden would almost certainly be one planning unit.

The definition of a planning unit was established int he case of Burdle v. SSE [1972]. The rule is that the unit of occupation for residential property is the appropriate planning unit, unless and until some smaller unit can be recognised as the site of activities which amount in substance to a separate use both physically and functionally and for larger areas of land, in particular non residential but rather rural settings for example, the planning unit will be the appropriate and reasonable area necessary for the intended or lawful use of the land in question.

This obviously can still result in disagreements about what is reasonable and appropriate but if the council disagree with you about the extend of what is reasonable in terms of area, you can make objective arguments about why you consider your position on the extent of land in question to be reasonable.

You will consider that councils are typically reluctant to grant change of use from agricultural land so you will likely find resistance to anything more than that which the council consider they have little choice but to grant.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi joshua


 


thanks for that. i think the council may have shot themselves in the foot on this one. it was the council who granted pp for the use of the existing buildings that were associated with the barn conversions i.e garages and storage. this meant the original farmhouse had no outbuildings. as a result land outside the red line (which was lined blue and housed the poultry units) of the barn conversions, was designated and approved for storage/residential use for the farmhouse. how can the council turn back from the approved permission?


 

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
The council cannot derrogate from a permission they have granted. There is only an issue if you have changed the use of the land from the use provided in the planning permission.

Where permission has been granted there will be a plan showing a red lline for the extent of land granted for permission. Where you change the use of the land without permission it is a question of establishing the curtilage of the extent of land that you can claim to have changed the use for which is determined as above.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi


 


yes the red line surrounded the barns and the farmhouse for the pp required for the barn conversions. at the time there was no applications for the farmhouse. however as i explained the buildings that were associated with the farmhouse were allocated to the barns for garages/stores. as a result it was deemed necessary that the poultry units be retained for storage/residential use for the farmhouse. at the time the poultry shed land was line blue and was marked 'poultry sheds to be retained for domestic use'. this has been acknowledged by the council and they have stated that it forms part of the approved plans even though it is not within the red line!


 


 

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
From what you say they may have granted permission for residential use for the sheds. Residential use does not include a right to store materials as a principle use of the land however. Residential land would include a right to store materials incidental to the enjoyment of the land as residential but not more than this.

However as discussed above if you have enjoyed the right to store on the land for more than 10 years then you have a right to do so through long use for planning purposes in any event.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

hi almost there!


 


one thing you didn't answer was if there is a material change of use of the land to B8, how does the council apportion the area from say some of the land that is just grass?


 


cheers

Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.
If you apply for a further change of use of the land, the council will considerthat application in accordance with their planning policies. The extent of the land they may or may not be willing to grant a further change of material use for will depend in part upon the extent of land you can demonstrate has been used for its present use as opposed to the original agricultural use and notwithstanding the above the extent of land the consider reasonable for the proposed new purpose.

It is a question of judgement and proportion for larger plots of land.

Related Law Questions