A couple who “deliberately deceived” council planners by building a barn disguised as a house in a city center housing estate have been told their animals can stay.
Mr and Mrs Oliphant were granted planning permission to build a four bedroomed detached house on the Keegan estate in the center of Newcastle. Because the building was in an established development, the permission was granted on the condition it would only be used as a dwelling place, would be made entirely from new materials and have as little aesthetic value as is possible.
Despite building their barn from recycled timber using a traditional design and craftsmen, the Oliphants were otherwise careful to disguise the fact that animals were living there, regularly parking incapable 4X4 vehicles at the property. After tending the animals on an evening they would leave scantily clad in all weathers making noises of “hitting the toon”. They even went to the extent of having the barn hooked up to mains electricity, water, drainage, a telephone line and Sky TV.
In a case about the property before the High Court, the Oliphants admitted deliberately deceiving Newcastle Council as they always intended to use the building as a barn to house animals but in their defense they claimed that the location was entirely free of badgers so minimising the risk of their cattle contracting TB.
Last year the Oliphants applied for a certificate of lawfulness of existing use under the Town and Country Planning 1990 Act on the basis that the time for enforcement action against the use of the building had expired.
The planning authority refused to grant a certificate. So the couple appealed and a Government inspector agreed with their case. After this the council appealed to the High Court. The three judges sitting, Lord Justice Gentry, Lord Justice Mumbler and Lord Justice Fetlock expressed serious concerns about the councils strategy to house “the ordinary man” in “estates” saying it was “entirely misleading and gives rise to an unjustified sense of position”.
Animals can stay in "moo castle"
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A couple who “deliberately deceived” council planners by building a barn disguised as a house in a city center housing estate have been told their animals can stay.Posted 3 years ago #
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