I realise this has featured a few times in this Forum, but I wonder if anyone has seen any definitive rulings?
I own a property which was split into two flats without PP. I received an Enforcement Notice which reads:
3. The Matters Which Appear To Constitute The Breach Of Planning Control - "without planning permission the change of use of the Land from use as a single dwellinghouse to use as 2 self-contained flats".
4. Reasons For Issuing This Notice - "It appears to the Council that the breach of planning control referred to above in paragraph 3 has occurred within the last ten years."
On speaking to the Planning Enforcement Officer, I challenged the period of ten years, believing the property should be exempt from Enforcement after four. However, he responded that splitting a property constitutes a change of use of Land, and (under 171B(2)of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990) it is only if the Change of Use is TO a single dwellinghouse where the four-year rule applies. All other changes of use (including changing the use of a building FROM a single dwellinghouse) only acquire immunity after ten years.
In this particular case it is very unlikely I could in any case prove that the breach was more than four years ago. However, I have another for which this might be appropriate.
And so my question: There is a lot of speculation, but is there any case history where the splitting of a building into flats has been deemed to fall under the 4-year or the 10-year rule?