Hillside, Nickerbrow - Condition restricted domestic use of garage

The planning condition was imposed:

"The outbuilding shall be used for the garaging of private motor vehicles and for private use incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse only and not for trade, business or any other purposes."

The condition was imposed to protect the living conditions of neighbouring occupants.  The approved plans for the development make it clear that the building would be used for both the garaging of a car and for a home gym and storage. The Council’s officer report concluded that the development would not result in any harm to the amenity of nearby properties. 

Paragraph 206 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) and the National Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) make it clear that conditions should only be imposed where, amongst other things, they are necessary and relevant to the development to be permitted.

The Council did not identified any harm in relation to the living conditions of nearby occupants and thus it was not clear why the condition would be necessary in this case. The officer report and wording of the condition suggested that the Council was not concerned about its use as a home gym or storage. These are activities incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling and thus the ability to use the building for such purposes is implicit within the grant of permission. In these circumstances, there is no need for a condition specifying this.

As the permission relates to a domestic garage a condition prohibiting a trade or business use is also not directly relevant. Irrespective of speculative comments made by some interested parties, there is no substantive evidence to suggest there is any intention to use the building for a non-domestic purpose. Nor is such a condition necessary, since the introduction of a trade, business or any other activity which gave rise to a material change of use of the building would require planning permission. In such circumstances, the Council would still be able to exercise control over its interests in terms of the living conditions of neighbouring residents.

In light of the above, and without any convincing evidence substantiating or justifying the Council’s position, the Inspector found that the condition was both unnecessary and not relevant to the development permitted.