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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12193
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My q. is complex and I need an answer concerning SCOTLANDS

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My q. is complex and I need an answer concerning SCOTLAND'S foibles of planning and planning law. To avoid any difficulties "my" expert HAS to have extensive knowledge of the rules in Scotland regarding temporary planning; agricultural permitted development; Caravan Act; ten year lawful development rule. I have prepared a history leading up to my three interlinked questions and should I be lucky enough to get the knowledgeable person I will paste it in. Many Thanks
Thank you for your question.
I am a solicitor dealing in planning and construction on a regular basis. Let me know what your question is and I shall endeavour to help you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi - this is the history followed by the questions --- GOOD LUCK!!!! If it confuses you imagine how I as a layman feel!

2004 purchased 27 acres and two large modern open fronted barns purchased Scottish rare breed ponies and cattle

November 2004 moved caravan into barn entrance – open to view and told the Assessors office. They visited me and put me in Council Tax residential band A.

2006 visit from enforcement officer – he took no proceedings and there was no record of it at the planning office as he agreed with the concept of rare Scottish breeds but told me to apply.

2007 applied for full…… then as I heard that they were going to refuse but was outside the time limit I took the gamble of taking it to appeal on non-determination. I lost but inspector suggested what I was doing was a good thing and suggested they approve temporary.

The planning officer asked if I would move caravan to the side of the barn so that the neighbours wasn’t looking at it.

This I did……. Then I applied for temporary log cabin and was granted two years in July 2007

And built the log cabin….. although temporary, the building control mad a mistake and said it had to be constructed on a footing. After telling the planning officer she emailed me to do what the building control said…. After doing it the building control realised they were mistaken but the cabin is now on footings (as agreed by the planning officer!!!)I was then granted an Extension of Temporary for two years starting Feb 2011

I then applied for Permitted development for barn alterations – this allows for temporary building/caravan for five years if actively engaged in the building – which I am.

I have paid residential council tax for the (almost) ten years i.e. since November 2004.

2012 Assessment officers said I had to be registered as a business which they did. It is exempt from charge. They kept the Council Tax band for the (now) cabin as band A.

I received letter in Feb this year saying that I had outstayed my welcome –i.e. the temporary had ended the year before – and that I had to apply immediately for full planning.

I replied with a long list of questions to which I still haven’t had a reply

The ten years comes to fruition in November this year.

I think I am correct in saying that if I have lived here for ten years and paid council tax and not officially had an enforcement letter that I can apply for Lawful development.

So, Questions are….

1/ Is a council legally obliged to grant the lawful development or can they refuse?

2/ by moving the caravan at their request (twenty yards away maximum) have I broken the ten years?

3/ By being granted the two years temporary have they broken my ten years?

4/ They granted the two years of which I have had three years – am I correct in saying that the permitted development should give me an extra two years or can they say that the granting of two years overrule the Caravan Act?

It is important to note that I fulfil the roads requirement (after a lot of nonsense they finally told me about the 80 percentile rule!) I have a septic tank which has been okayed by SEPA. I have fulfilled the criteria fo man-hours. The ONLY fact that has created the refusal is Viability. Rare breeds have never been viable – that is why they are rare breed. In England the Planning rules actually allow leeway on viability if you are contributing to environmental issues…. Unfortunately not so in Scotland.

Did you do the barn alterations and are they complete? If not why not?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Not started yet, there is still two years to go of the five years and building the cabin was a "full time" job. I am hoping to start soon. Thank you

Thanks. The answers to your questions are as follows:
1. After 10 years they can't serve an enforcement notice and would have to grant a Certificate of Lawfulness. The onus would be on you to establish use over that period but from what you say you will be able to do that.
2. No.
3. No.
4. You should be able to get another two years on the facts narrated by you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi JGM - I am very grateful for your help. Q 1 was the important one - the other q's not as much importance. Can I just narrow down the answer to q.1. a little.

The caravan was in the barn entrance

The cabin built three years ago is outside the barn but within 5 yards of the side wall.

Would the lawful application be to the cabin and it's site?

The assessors office has come across such as I before - very sympathetic and is waiting to send me a print-out for living there since 2004!

I really am grateful - thank you

No, it would be the caravan. Th cabin hasn't been there for 10 years. However there is a four year rule for buildings.
See this link which should help you:
JGM and 2 other Scots Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much. I DID make a point of leaving the caravan where it was and making the assessors who arrived to register the cabin VERY aware that I still used the caravan as a bedroom and annexe.


My sincere thanks.

Your welcome.