Case Study 6 - Costs award on the basis that the proposed development should reasonably have been permitted

Case Summary

The case involved the change of use of dwellinghouse to a five person HMO.  The Council had removed permitted development rights for such conversions.  The Council did not have any detailed planning policies regarding how to assess HMOs, but did have a Council adopted HMO Standards, throughs its Licensing Department.  This guideline did not form part of the development plan, but the Inspector concluded that it was one of the material considerations to which regard must be given in the consideration of the planning application.

Overall, the Inspector considered the Council had relied on somewhat generalised assertions about the size and layout of the rooms and their ability or otherwise to contain furniture and has manifestly failed to produce substantive and convincing evidence to support its one reason for refusal.

In the planning judgement, the Inspector concluded that the proposed development should reasonably have been permitted. Therefore, for the above reasons I conclude that unreasonable behaviour resulting in unnecessary or wasted expense, as described in PPG Paragraph 048, has been demonstrated in this case, and that a full award of costs is justified