Reasons to choose Wilson Browne
In the recent case of Jones and another v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government and another two landowners appealed against the Secretary of State’s dismissal of their appeal against an enforcement notice issued by Horsham District Council (HDC).
The landowners owned a field that ran adjacent to a road and was bordered by a hedge and grass verge. In 2020, without planning permission, part of the hedge was removed and a gate was installed for vehicular access into the field. A concrete driveway was created from the edge of the road up to the gate.
HDC issued an enforcement notice alleging that the works breached planning control. The landowners were required to remove the gate and driveway, replant the hedge and sow new grass.
The landowners appealed, stating that the work carried out was permitted development under Part 2 (minor operations), Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (SI 2015/596) (GPDO 2015).
Class A of Part 2 grants deemed planning permission for the erection or maintenance of gates while Class B concerns access to highways that were not trunk roads or classified roads.
The inspector noted that HDC’s evidence advised that the road was an unnumbered C-classified road. As a result, the landowners could not rely on Class B permitted development rights as it did not apply to classified roads.
The inspector concluded that the construction of the gate together with the driveway constituted development that required permission, and that the remedial action required by the enforcement notice was appropriate.
The landowners appealed to the High Court.
The High Court dismissed the appeal. The judge held that the inspector had not erred in concluding that the road was a classified road. In addition, the evidence did not show that there was a useable opening from the field in which the landowners placed the gate.
Rather, it showed that a former opening may have existed but had become impassable, as demonstrated by the dense, continuous hedging that had formed the natural boundary to the field and had been damaged by the development.
Case: Jones and another v Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government and another  EWHC 520 (Admin) (11 March 2022)