May 3rd, 2024 by James Goudie KC

The basic question in SECRETARY OF STATE v CALDWELL ( 2024 ) EWCA Civ 467 was whether an Inspector who determined an Appeal  against an Enforcement Notice issued under SECTION 172 of TCPA 1990 misapplied the important principle in the MURFITT case and the established limitations upon that principle.. The Notice required the cessation of residential use on land and the demolition of a bungalow built upon it. The principle is that LPAs when enforcing against against a material change of use can require the removal of operational development connected to the change of use for the purpose of restoring the land to its condition before the development took place.

The Court of Appeal identified a number of points from para 39. First, the MURFITT principle must not be overstated. It must be operated within the bounds of the statutory scheme. Second, the principle does not extend to works that are more than ancillary or secondary to the change of use. Third, the principle is “ narrow “. Fourth, the principle does not support the removal of a building or other operational development that is a separate development in its own right.  Fifth, whether the principle is engaged in a particular case will always be a matter of fact and degree.

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