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Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:02 am
by Stargazer
We have an interesting local case involving Network Rail. A large grey shed has suddenly appeared opposite some houses with no prior notification, and we have since found out that it is a kind of effluent processing plant. Network Rail maintains that the building is permitted development under Part 8 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 "Development by railway undertakers on their operational land, required in connection with the movement of traffic by rail" and the local planning authority seems to have reluctantly accepted this. For clarification, this building is technically known as a "CET [Controlled Emission Toilet] plant room", which I understand contains pumping equipment to transfer waste from train toilets to the main drainage system including addition of water. The building is on railway land.

However, the GDPO explicitly excludes from permitted development "an office, residential or educational building, or a building used for an industrial process" unless wholly within a station, which this building is not. We are therefore wondering if Network Rail has stretched the interpretation of the GDPO somewhat.

We see a clear argument that effluent processing of this kind could be construed as an industrial process and therefore that this is not a permitted development - does anyone know of any case law that supports or refutes our argument?

Many thanks,

David.

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:01 pm
by theycantdothat
The order contains a definition of "industrial process":

“industrial process” means a process for or incidental to any of the following purposes—

(a) the making of any article or part of any article (including a ship or vessel, or a film, video or sound recording);

(b) the altering, repairing, maintaining, ornamenting, finishing, cleaning, washing, packing, canning, adapting for sale, breaking up or demolition of any article; or

(c) the getting, dressing or treatment of minerals in the course of any trade or business other than agriculture, and other than a process carried out on land used as a mine or adjacent to and occupied together with a mine


The process in question is definitely not within paragraphs (a) or (c). I fear you would have some difficulty fitting it into (b) as the waste is not really what can be considered an article. The tenor of the definition is that an industrial process involves producing something which can be sold.

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:00 pm
by tph
The link below provides an overview as to why a CET is considered permitted development along with other items;

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sourc ... sCkhibXUrJ

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:48 pm
by Stargazer
Yes, so far we unfortunately don't seem to have much of a case to argue that planning permission would have been required. The building is much larger and more obvious to residents than the equivalent plant at Streatham Hill (it is about 3 times longer and wider and twice as high). It seems that the case will now fall into the hands of the council's environmental health team if there is an increase in noise or pollution as a result of the development when it comes into operation (in this respect the council have the bit between their teeth in a big way as they have just issued an abatement notice over train noise at night after a campaign by residents lasting several years). In the end to a neighbour this just seems to show how much the railways can get away with and hardly promotes good relations, but apparently the development is within the law.

The original plans show the CET plant room several hundred metres away, but accommodation for cleaners appears to have been constructed at the original planned site for the building. I guess from a planning point of view, though, this makes no difference.

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:31 pm
by theycantdothat
Reminded of a conversation with a client some 40 years ago:

Client.: I'm moving because I've got noisy neighbours. The property is in Station Street.

Me: I think you'll find there will be some noise from the trains.

Client: I hadn't thought of that.

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:58 pm
by atticus
Someone new to the village complained about his boggy back garden. Me: "why do you think it's called Spring Lane?"

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:59 am
by dls
I also had a client who complained that after moving to his new house, he discovered the existence of the railway over the all on teh far side of the road.

I pointed to the name of the road, and the plan he had signed. One does sometimes wonder,

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:33 am
by tph
If there has been an increase in noise the residents may be able to make Part 1 compensation claims.

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:23 am
by atticus
Part 1 of what?

Re: Railway buildings and permitted development

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:05 pm
by Michael