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1. Dear *****, at the outset, you need to realise that a restrictive covenant is a burden running with the land which restricts the user, irrespective of whether planning permission is obtained and irrespective of whether you might have breached the covenant in the past. Accordingly, this restrictive covenant will operate and be enforceable even if your son gets planning permission for change of use. The restrictive covenant will also be enforceable even though you have already breached it by running a holiday cottage there. In strict point of law, you are liable to the holder of the restrictive covenant in damages for this breach. Accordingly, I would not publicise that you have already breached the restrictive covenant. No precedent is set by your previous unlawful user. The restrictive covenant is applicable even if no traffic problems or disturbance is caused if you breach it. Additionally, it makes no difference to the situation that the restrictive covenant might interfere with your son's right to earn his livelihood, or that a breach would not materially affect neighbouring properties.
2. You can go to court and seek a Declaration to test if the covenant is enforceable. However, such an action would be doomed to failure and you will have costs awarded against you. Be aware finally, that even if the restrictive covenant was not applicable, you would still need the consent of the Secretary of State to run and operate a business in a National Park, as this is not a permitted user in a National Park area.
Your reply is Is there any defence, and if so what would it be since
3. There is no defence to an action on the restrictive covenant.
Even though the covenant only prevents a trade business defined in the leagl dictionary as 'the buying and selling of goods for profit' or a profession which I do need to define to a lawyer both of which do not describe a service businesslike a B & B. Furthermore, the church surveyor who wrote the covenant has agreed that it was not designed to prevent a low impact sevice business like a B and B and would likely give a statement to the sam?
4. Surveyors do not write restrictive covenants! Lawyers do. So it is not correct to state that a surveyor wrote the restrictive covenant. Ultimately, his opinion is irrelevant. The covenant means what is says it means. Namely that no trade or business can be carried on there. Nor can it be used except as a private dwelling. YOu need to realise that a restrictive covenant is what is says it is. It restricts the use of property. Here you need to speak with the church in whose favour the benefit of the restrictive covenant runs and see if they will vary it in your case. However, as things stand, the legal position is that your son cannot run a business there.