Apple Hill care home, Henley

This was a five day inquiry into two appeals, the first under s.174 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 against an enforcement notice issued by the Council of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead against the use of a residential care home in breach of a condition restricting the use to the “elderly”, and the second under s.78 of the 1990 Act against the Council’s the refusal of planning permission for the premises also to be used as a community mental hospital. The issues included:

  • Whether the condition’s purported restriction on the premises’ use for the “elderly” was invalid on grounds of uncertainty.
  • Whether upholding the enforcement notice would result in unjustified discrimination on grounds of age, contrary to Article 14 ECHR taken together with Article 8.
  • Whether, having regard to the expert mental healthcare, noise, traffic and planning evidence, the use of the premises for persons other than the “elderly” and/or as a community mental hospital would cause demonstrable harm to the amenity of neighbouring properties and/or amount to inappropriate development in the Green Belt.
Following the inquiry, on 21 October 2014 the Inspector published her decision allowed both appeals. Sasha White QC and Charles Banner appeared for the appellant, Henley Healthcare Ltd, instructed by Woolf Bond Planning LLP. Rupert Warren QC appeared for the Council, instructed by the Solicitor to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

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