Its true the question of what is adjacent is a fluid one. Given how subjective some of the decisions are, if not most of them, it seems odd that there seems to be little merit to appeal to the courts if the Independent Inspectorate rejected a planning appeal. I am not thinking of doing this, as it seems even the courts are not consistent and various judges have attempted to apply different frameworks at various times.
I can also see the merits of the rules, in fairness, though clearly some people try their luck and go without permission. Its a moral question whether that establishes whether the lesson is everyone should adopt that behaviour, or rather, we play by the rules and aspire to the environment we want to see.
Some background might be useful here. About 2months ago I returned from work and my wife mentioned that something odd had happened during the day. While washing up in the kitchen at the side of the house she saw a woman with a hoodie walking down the drive at the side of house - about 30 feet from the front opening to the road. The woman saw her and gestured and shrugged her shoulders seeming to ask something, so my wife directed her to walk back around to the front door.
On opening the front door, the woman was standing about 5 metres away, and asked for directions to 'Sunnymede Crescent'. Now, we live in a rural area and there isn't a Sunnymede Crescent type housing development for a long way. My wife said she was unable to help and the woman didn't enquire any further and just said ok and walked off to a car that my wife then noticed had been parked in the drive. There was a male with a hooded top sitting in the car.
Long story short - later that week we hear that on the same day a 60 year old man, living across the field, came home and found the same car parked in the drive. On questioning the woman said the car was overheating and she had taken it off the road. He asked her to move it off his property, which did, and he entered his house. Inside, he was confronted by a 6 foot male with a crowbar running down the stairs, a scuffle ensued and the man ran out and got in the car which sped off.
So, basically, we avoided being burgled by a cats whisker. Cue thoughts about my 11 year old daughter who comes home from school to an empty house, and then thoughts about getting higher fencing, gates etc. Not to mention thoughts about how you try and do the right thing, while some thinks its easier to rob you than get a job themselves.
That's how I got to where I am. I accept that there is a limit to how much I can secure my house, and I will probably have to settle for a 1 metre high gate which at least will prevent someone from entering the property by car, and relatively narrow lane outside means a potential intruder wont really have any nearby parking options.
The only remaining fly in the ointment is that I paid £4.8k deposit (about half) for a 4.2 metre wide gate, for which I have a proforma invoice. Its not been progressed yet, so I will speak to the chap about getting a smaller gate made, which hopefully he can do, otherwise I might have to have a tricky conversation about getting my deposit back - not always easy with traders.
So, quite a few lessons here, perhaps think about security and fencing possibilities when buying a house, realise the limitations of planning law may restrict you, check planning rules before taking decisions about fencing and gates as they impinge more than one might think, and perhaps I suggest you always maintain a healthy scepticism of people knocking at your door or turning up unexpectedly with what might sound like plausible reasons, as they may sound credible right up until they have established its safe to break into your home.
There is at least a silver lining to this story. The police managed to catch the man, through his DNA which he had left at the scene.