You might well be forgiven for thinking that if you have a garden, you’re able use it for whatever you want to without having to seek approval from an authoritative body – but it seems that this may not actually be the case and, depending on your project, you may need to have planning permission if you want to change how you use the land… even if it’s just your lawn!
One hapless couple from Deeping St James in Lincolnshire has just fallen foul of the authorities for deciding to turn some of their lawn into a vegetable patch, with South Kesteven District Council issuing them with a charge of £469 for a breach of planning rules, according to the Daily Mail.
Apparently, Lee and Kirstie Lawes started their veggie patch as a project in lockdown and saw so much success that they were able to hand out food to their neighbours. But because they fenced part of it off, it was no longer classed as an informal open space – so the couple now have to submit a change of use planning application.
Mr Lee said: “I don’t see why we need planning permission to create somewhere to grow vegetables. I’m not building a great big structure, nobody from the outside can tell any differently. It’s not like it’s a Jacuzzi or a summer house – it is a vegetable patch. It is our garden and we will not be paying for the privilege of being able to grow vegetables.”
If you are planning a project and aren’t sure whether or not you need planning permission, it is generally a good idea to check before you start work, or you could be unpleasantly surprised.
Planning permission is only required if the work in question meets the definition of ‘development’, which includes material changes of use of land and buildings, as well as building operations, engineering operations and so on.
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