De Pol played an instrumental role in getting an enforcement notice quashed in relation to an unlawful change of use from farm land to residential use in the West Lancashire greenbelt.
Having bought the former dairy farmstead following its demolition and rebuilding in 2006, the client some years later purchased the field behind it for keeping a pet pony and then built a jungle gym and playhouse for her son.
The local Council embarked on a series of investigations and formal information requisitions before issuing an Enforcement Notice requiring the play area to be demolished and the residential use of the land to cease.
De Pol appealed the notice on the client’s behalf and the matter was heard before a Planning Inspector at a Local Public Inquiry. De Pol prepared and managed the case, instructed Alison Ogley of Kings Chambers as the client’s advocate and appeared as an expert witness at the Inquiry. De Pol proved to the Inspector that the Council was acting under a mistaken interpretation of the planning law. Moreover, the Council had not properly taken the long planning history of the site into account before issuing the notice.
The case set down some important markers in relation to replacement dwellings in rural areas and established a further precedent where homeowners have secured permission to keep ponies on land accessed via their gardens.
After the Inquiry, the Inspector quashed the enforcement notice and the client received a substantial costs award against the Council.
The Appeal Decision can be viewed here