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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

21 SEP 2011

R (Welwyn Hatfield BC) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2011] UKSC 15

Change of use – enforcement action – public policy grounds

6 April 2011
Supreme Court
Lord Phillips P, Lord Rodger, Lord Walker, Lady Hale, Lord Brown, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke

(i) There was no change of use where a person purported to build a barn but actually built and used a building as a dwelling house which was not permitted under the planning permission that was granted for a hay barn. The building constructed could not be regarded as having any permitted use.
(ii) Public policy prevented a person profiting from their wrong in deceiving the planning authority as to the nature of the building constructed. 
On appeal from:
Welwyn Hatfield Council v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government & Anor [2010] EWCA Civ 26
(1) Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council (WHBC) appealed against the Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold a certificate of lawfulness in relation to Mr Beesley’s (B) use of a hay barn (for which he had planning permission) as a dwelling house (for which he did not have planning permission) for more than four years.

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