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Land at Court Farm, Buckland Newton, Dorset

DATE: 08 Aug 2006

This was a two week inquiry into enforcement notices alleging changes of use of numerous agricultural buildings at Court Farm, Buckland Newton, near Dorchester.  The appellant called over 30 witnesses in an attempt to prove that all the present uses were immune: the upshot of the evidence was in fact to show that material changes of use had taken place within the relevant immunity period in almost all of the buildings.  Ground (a) appeals were dismissed. 

The case produced an interesting aftermath.  The Inspector failed to give individual consideration to the ground (a) appeals and his decisions were quashed by consent for this reason.  The question then arose whether, on the redetermination, the new Inspector should rehear the 30 witnesses etc and reconsider the claims to immunity.  The new Inspector eventually ruled that he should not and this decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal (see Perrett v SSCLG [2009] EWCA 1365 (Civ)). 

Richard Langham appeared for the local planning authority.