RELEVANT CRITERIA IN GRANTING PLANNING PERMISSION FOR HERITAGE ASSETS: CITY & COUNTRY BRAMSHILL LTD V. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HOUSING, COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, HART DISTRICT COUNCIL, HISTORIC ENGLAND AND THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR PLACES OF HISTORIC INTEREST OR NATURAL BEAUTY.

AuthorHawkes-Reynolds, Rebecca

On 9 March 2021 the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment dismissing the appeal brought by City & Country which concerned the redevelopment of the Grade I listed Jacobean manor of Bramshill House set within the Grade I Registered Park and Garden of Bramshill Park.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Bramshill House is a Grade I listed Jacobean manor located within a large parkland with a lake and formal gardens. The park is a Grade I Registered Park and Garden. The stable block to the north of Bramshill House is Grade II listed and around the house are several separately listed walls, gate piers, turrets and the gateway, all Grade I. The historic house became the location of a Police Staff College in 1960 and was sold to the property developer City & Country in 2015. City and Country sought to redevelop the house and surrounding parkland. They applied to Hart District Council proposing seven different schemes including the conversion of the Jacobean manor into apartments or a single dwelling or office space, and/or the construction of 235 new homes in place of some of the existing non-listed buildings within the wider registered park. The council refused all proposals and issued 25 enforcement notices. The refusal to grant planning permission and the enforcement notices were appealed (33 in total). (2) The proposed development included the conversion of the mansion to sixteen apartments and the adjoining stable block to five (appeal 1), or its conversion to a single dwelling (appeal 2), or to class B1 office space (appeal 3); the construction of 235 houses in place of some of the existing buildings (appeal 4), 14 more to the south-west (appeal 5), and nine to the north of the existing lake (appeal 6); the use of 51 residential units--once occupied by staff employed at the training college--as separate dwellings (appeal 7), retaining those against which the council had taken enforcement action alleging a material change of use without planning permission (appeals 8 to 33). An inspector held an enquiry into these appeals which ended in February 2018. The decision letter of the inspector dated 31 January 2019 granted planning permission for appeals 2 and 3, but she also dismissed appeals 1, 4 to 14 and 16. On 14 March 2019 the inspector also dismissed City & Country's application for costs against the District Council. City & Country appealed against the dismissal of four of the appeals for planning permission and eight of the enforcement notice appeals. Waksman J in the High Court upheld the challenge to one of the...

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