Landmark Chambers


Judgment released in Hilton case on householder permitted development rights

DATE: 23 Sep 2016

The written judgment has been released in Hilton v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2016] EWHC (Admin), a case dealing with the interpretation of householder permitted development rights. The case has aroused a good deal of interest, as the High Court found against the Secretary of State's interpretation of the relevant provision of the permitted development legislation as expressed in the published guidance. 

Jonathan Wills appeared for the successful developer, Mr Hilton. 

The judgment is available here

The original article from the Landmark Chambers website, published when judgment had been given orally, is reproduced below:

Yesterday, in Hilton v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (CO/309/2016) the High Court (Robin Purchas QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court) gave an important judgment in relation to the interpretation of householders' permitted development rights. 

The case turned upon the meaning of "the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse" in Class A of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015. 

Mr Hilton had applied for prior approval in respect of a single storey rear extension. However, he had previously constructed a two-storey rear extension pursuant to an express planning permission.

Class A grants planning permission for the "enlargement" of a dwellinghouse. Paragraph A.1(g) provides that development is not permitted where the "enlarged part" would have more than one storey, and would (i) extend more than 6 metres [or 8 metres for a detached house] from the rear wall of the "original dwellinghouse", or (ii) exceed 4 metres in height. 

Together, the existing and proposed extensions would extend less than 6 metres from the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse. However, the Inspector on appeal under s. 78 held that the "enlarged part" was not merely the extension proposed under the permitted development right, but also included the earlier extension. He cited Kensington and Chelsea RBC v SSCLG [2015] EWHC 2458 (Admin) in so doing. The consequence, he found, was that the proposal was not permitted development, as the pre-existing extension had more than one storey. 

The court held that the Inspector was wrong, and that the "enlarged part" of a dwellinghouse for the purposes of Class A included only that which was being proposed under Class A.

This is contrary to the Secretary of State's guidance on householder permitted development rights. 

The Secretary of State was refused permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. 

Jonathan Wills acted for the successful Claimant, Mr Hilton