News & Blog

Removal of Occupancy Condition

A Lawful Development Certificate has been granted by Hambleton District Council relating to a farmhouse that was built more than 40 years ago and was originally subject to an agricultural occupancy condition. The farmer who occupied the property is sadly no longer with us and his executors were seeking the best manner in which to dispose of the property. The original occupancy condition severely restricted the open market value of the property and it was only by a chance remark that it became apparent that the property was never built in the position in which it was originally approved, having been re sited by the farmer without consent from the LPA, to take advantage of better views down the valley. Relying on up to date case law, Prism Planning were able to persuade the Planning Authority that the original consent had not been lawfully implemented and that as a result, the originally intended occupancy condition no longer had any legal “bite”. As the property had been built more than four years ago, the resultant building was free of the occupancy condition leaving the executors to market the property as an ordinary dwelling and obtain the full market price for it. This is a very unusual case and one that we don’t think is likely to feature commonly. However the case outlines that it is important to lawfully implement a planning permission in order for any conditions to practically take effect on a project. Where a development has not been lawfully implemented it may well be worth a discussion with Prism to see whether any practical advantage can be taken of such a situation.