Devine v The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities & anr

Wednesday 29 March 2023

The Appellant sought to challenge the decision of the planning inspector dated 23 November 2021. An enforcement notice was served in respect of land owned by the Appellant and alleged the erection of a “new” building and the erection of a boundary wall and fence. It required, amount other things, the demolition of the building. The Appellant’s case was that he had repaired and improved the building (a barn) and not substantially reconstructed it. The Appellant later applied for residential use of the building although it was not at that point suitable for residential occupation.

The effect of the judgment is that a barn, over 100 years old, will have to be demolished due to the works carried out by the Appellant; in case where building works have been ongoing for over 20 years, the appeal raises an arguable issue as to how the four year rule should be interpreted and applied.

View hearing:

Part 1

Part 2