The DCLG Chief Planner has issued his latest 'Dear Chief Planning Officer' letter together with an attached policy statement relating to deliberately intended unauthorised development.
David Hackforth, a former President of the Society, commented that although most of the background to the policy statement relates to unauthorised traveller encampments, particularly in the Green Belt and it may have been prompted by the 'house hidden by straw bales' case, the new policy seems to be of general application.
Hackforth said "On the face of it, it makes 'intentional unauthorised development' a material consideration in the determination of all new planning applications and appeals after 31/08/15. Presumably this will apply to all sorts of development, for example, new retrospective planning applications for houses in multiple occupation."
Hackforth added that the statement does not give any indication how much weight should be given to intentional unauthorised development in relation to other material considerations, or indeed to the provisions of the Development Plan. He quipped "The assessment of whether unauthorised development is 'intentional' (or not) also looks potentially problematic. Hours of profitable fun for our learned friends at the Planning Bar, I suspect!"