Appeal against a refusal of a lawful development certificate for a domestic outbuilding

Appeal Allowed (Certificate of Lawfulness Issued) on 8 August 2023

outbuilding surrey heath

20 The Avenue,
GU24 8RU

Council: Surrey Heath Borough Council

Permitted development rights for outbuilding are quite generous – you can build up to 50% of the available site area.

Councils aren’t very keen on larger outbuildings though – they are ok with smaller structures to park a car or to store some tools, but they don’t like the idea of people building much larger buildings as gyms, or home offices etc.

Partly, they don’t like the idea of larger buildings but also they are suspicious that people plan to turn them into separate homes and rent them out. 

To try and stop the construction of larger outbuildings, councils have been known to say that larger outbuildings are not in fact permitted development. They argue that larger structures do not meet the requirement set out under Class E that the building be “reasonably required” (the council argues that the development is much larger than what a family might reasonably need), or try to suggest that the homeowner does not intend it to be “incidental” to (directly connected to their normal day-to-day use of) the main house. 

In this case, our clients applied for a lawful development certificate for an outbuilding in their large garden to accommodate a home office, playroom, gym and WC. The council refused to issue the certificate on the basis that it considered the outbuilding too large to be ‘reasonably required’ by the homeowners.

Happily, the appeal inspector agreed with us that all the proposed uses were standard domestic activities, and that each area of the outbuilding was normal in s†ize, given its intended purpose. 

For more about this issue of ‘reasonably required’ outbuildings, check out our previous article on the subject.

And if you have run into any problems, please get in touch!

We had a very frustrating and lengthy experience with Surrey Heath Council refusing our planning. We were recommended to speak to Martin to see whether he could help. His knowledge and expertise resulting in a successful appeal and our planning being granted. Thanks to Martin for a fantastic result.

Ross van der Sloot

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