Warren Farm, Wokingham
Client: Warren Farm Wokingham Ltd
LPA: Wokingham Borough Council
Boyer submitted (on behalf of Warren Farm Wokingham Ltd.) an application to determine whether prior approval was required to convert an agricultural building to residential under the provisions of Part 3 Class Q of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).
Wokingham Borough Council requested more time to determine the application, which we agreed to, despite correspondence stating that we did not consider an extension could be agreed under Part 3 of the GPDO. The Prior Approval was subsequently refused.
The client challenged the decision by way of a judicial review. Ashley Bowes of Cornerstone Barristers argued for our client that Article 7, read together with Part 3, Class V, paragraph W GPDO, meant that determination was required within the time limit so as to be effective.
The Judge found that Article 7 (c) only applies where no specific timeframe for a decision is set out, and therefore the Council’s decision had been made to late meaning the decision was quashed. Our client was also successful in relation to the award for costs.
This decision confirmed that where the GPDO prescribes a period of time for a decision as to whether prior approval is required, the council must make their determination within that timescale or else the applicant will have gained a deemed grant of planning permission.
Whilst the Gluck judgement brought the outcome of this case into question, both judgements were issued by the High Court. Until one of the decisions goes to the court of appeal, the Warren Farm judgement sits at the same level as the Gluck Judgement.
The Gluck judgement sets out why the Warren Farm should not be followed, and therefore going forwards, any case wishing to rely upon the Warren Farm judgement would need to provide robust evidence as to why a different position should be come to. If you have any questions do contact Alice Davidson.