A planning inquiry involving a ‘Slough Shed’ and another concerning mobile homes have ruled in favour of Wokingham Borough Council.
The appellants in both cases were appealing against planning enforcement notices issued by the council in response to the unauthorised developments.
Steven and Jane Peters of 28 Palmerstone Road, Earley, had been told by borough planners to stop using the garage in their back garden as tenants’ living accommodation - independent from the main house - and remove the bathroom and kitchen fixtures and fittings.
The couple appealed against the notice and a public inquiry took place in the council chamber last month. (April)
The Inspector found the land owners had failed to prove the use was lawful; so it was reasonable for the council to want the use to cease and the kitchen and bathroom removed.
The Inspector further found the appeal had no chance of success; the appellants had failed to properly pursue their appeal, and had obstructed the council in its reasonable requests to view the property. He therefore ordered the couple to pay the council’s costs.
In another case at Bearwood Nurseries in Church Lane, Arborfield, an enforcement notice was served on Helen Collins and George Jones at that address.
The notice required the couple and their family to move out of two mobile homes on the site, and for the ‘caravans’ to be removed from the land.
The land owners appealed and a public inquiry took place in the council chambers in February.
The Inspector found that the presence of the mobile homes caused harm to the character of the countryside and shouldn’t be allowed. The Inspector also found the appellants had acted unreasonably and ordered them to pay some of the council’s costs.
Mark Cupit, head of development management at Wokingham Borough Council, said: "Our borough officers work extremely hard trying to encourage people to comply with planning regulations. These regulations are there for a reason.
"However regrettably sometimes the harm caused by unauthorised development is such that a planning enforcement notice is served. And sometimes, also regrettably, it goes to a planning inquiry; both routes we’d rather avoid.
"At the end of the day planning regulations are there to protect local residents, businesses and the environment."