A house had been unused since 1960, and was bought in 1990. It had become delapidated and the applicant wished to rebuild. The applicant was entitled to permission only if he could show the original residential use had not been lost.
Held: The residential use had been abandoned. The test was an objective one, looking at the intention of the owner, the condition of the building, the period of non-use, and whether there had been any other intervening use. ‘Evaluating all four factors, the inspector was, in my judgment, entitled to conclude, as she did, that residential user had been abandoned. That may not have been the intention of Mr Giddings any more than it was the intention of Mr Hughes; but the intentions of the site’s successive owners, although relevant, were not and could not be decisive, because at the end of the day the test must be the view to be taken by a reasonable man with knowledge of all of the relevant circumstances. ‘
Kennedy LJ, Thorpe LJ, Mance Lj
Gazette 03-Feb-2000, Times 18-Feb-2000,  EWCA Civ 506
England and Wales
Cited – Hartley v Minister of Housing and Local Government CA 1970
A petrol station operated with an area to display and sell cars. Sales stopped in 1961 when the owner died. His son was thought too young and inexperienced son to be involved in car sales. Sales were resumed in 1965 when a new owner acquired the . .
Cited – Castell-y-Mynach Estate v Secretary of State for Wales QBD 1985
A building ceased to be occupied as a dwelling in 1965, and then over a period of years became nearly derelict. Even so, the evidence showed that at no time had the owners intended abandoning the rights of existing use, despite their decision not to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.81524