A property developer who disguised his £500,000 house as a hay barn to evade planning laws has lost his legal fight after battling all the way to the Supreme Court. The story has been widely reported in the Newspapers.

Mr.Beesley originally obtained planning permission for the barn on condition that it was used only for the storage of hay, straw or other agricultural products, but he constructed a building which looked like the  permitted barn on the outside, with “walls in profiled metal sheeting, a roller-shutter door, two smaller doors and eight roof lights”.

“Internally it was a dwelling house with full facilities, including garage, entrance hall, study, lounge, living room, toilet, storeroom, gym and three bedrooms, two of them with en suite bathrooms, and connected to mains electricity, water and drainage and a telephone line.

After four years of living in the ‘barn’, Beesley applied for a certificate of lawfulness under section 171B of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 on the basis that the council’s four-year limit for enforcement against domestic dwellings had expired.

Mr Beesley’s “deliberate, elaborate and sustained plan to deceive” came to an end when the seven justices in the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the council.

The Supreme Court concluded that there had never been any intention to use the building other than as a dwelling house and this meant there had not been a change of use within section 171B.

Ola Kupoluyi is a solcitor at Ola Leslie Solicitors. For more information call 02071830084 or e-mail Ola. Reference made to the Solicitors Journal

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