Newbury District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment: HL 1981

The grant of a temporary planning permission did not operate to cancel an existing established use. A planning condition requiring removal of hangars was invalid because it did not fairly or reasonably relate to the permitted development. The grant of an unnecessary planning permission does not exclude a landowner from relying on an existing use right. Where an impossible condition is attached the permission might be read without it.
Viscount Dilhorne said: ‘If, however, the grant of planning permission, whether it be permission to build or for a change of use, is of such a character that the implementation of the permission leads to the creation of a new planning unit, then I think that it is right to say that existing use rights attaching to the former planning unit are extinguished.’ and
‘It follows that the conditions imposed must be for a planning purpose and not for any ulterior one, and that they must fairly and reasonably relate to the development permitted. Also they must not be so unreasonable that no reasonable planning authority could have imposed them . .’


Lord Scarman, Viscount Dilhorne, Lord Fraser, Lord Lane


[1981] AC 578, [1980] 1 All ER 731, [1980] 2 WLR 379, (1980) 40 P and CR 148


England and Wales


ExplainedProssor v Minister of Housing and Local Government 1968
The owner of a garage sought planning permission to replace a repair shop on part of his site with a new building. There had been an established use as a petrol filling station and motor repair shop. The permission was granted subject to a . .

Cited by:

DistinguishedWiggins v Secretary of State for The Environment, Transport and The Regions Admn 21-Dec-2000
The claimant sought to appeal an enforcement notice. The land had been used for crushing etc concrete. The council had said it was an unlicensed waste management facility. A temporary permission had been granted subject to an obligation under s106. . .
CitedBritish Railways Board v Secretary of State for the Environment and Another HL 29-Oct-1993
Permission had been given for residential development of land provided that access was provided. The access specified was to be over land owned by the council. It was known that the Council would not allow such access. The land owner sought an order . .
CitedSainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, Regina (on The Application of) v Wolverhampton City Council and Another SC 12-May-2010
The appellant’s land was to be taken under compulsory purchase by the Council who wished to use it to assist Tesco in the construction of a new supermarket. Tesco promised to help fund restoration of a local listed building. Sainsbury objected an . .
CitedAberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority v Elsick Development Company Limited SC 25-Oct-2017
The court was asked whether, anticipating substantial growth, a local authority had power to attach to permissions for development conditions intended to recover sums for pooled fund for infrastructure development.
Held: The appeal failed. . .
CitedWright, Regina (on The Application of Wright) v Resilient Energy Severndale Ltd and Another SC 20-Nov-2019
W challenged the grant of planning permission for the change of use of agricultural land to allow erection of a wind turbine, saying that the authority had taken into account a promise by the land owner to run the scheme as a community development . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 09 May 2022; Ref: scu.185796