Tear it down - planning appeal decision for Casa Hotel and Restaurant

Work on the new extention at Cassa, Brighouse.
Work on the new extention at Cassa, Brighouse.

A Brighouse restaurant and hotel has been told that it must demolish its extension after losing its planning appeal against Calderdale Council.

The Casa Hotel and Restaurant on Elland Road has been ordered by the Planning Inspectorate that it must take down its three storey extension.

An appeal was lodged by Castelite Limited over the council’s decision to reject the revised extension plans and an enforcement notice to remove the building.

However, Inspector Ahsan Ghafoor has ruled in favour of the council and the owners now have nine months to take down the extension.

“On balance, the considerations advanced by the Appellant in support of granting planning permission, whether taken individually or cumulatively, do not clearly outweigh the inappropriate nature of the proposed development in the Green Belt and the other identified harms. Consequently, the very special circumstances necessary to justify the development do not exist in this case.”

The report by Mr Ghafoor also outlines that, despite the Casa having planning permission in 2009 for a smaller extension, the extension cannot be reverted back to its original plans.

“It is necessary to consider whether the steps required by the notice exceed what is necessary to remedy the breach of planning control.

“The Appellant considers total demolition is over-enforcement. The under-enforcement argument is that the extension, as built, could be scaled back so that it complies with the plans approved in 2009.

“I have reviewed all of the lesser steps advanced, but the subject development is unlawful and the extension has been built without the benefit of planning permission.

“The steps required to comply with the notice seek to remedy the breach by restoring the land to its condition before the breach occurred.

“There is no lawful fallback position to which the Appellant could revert, because the 2009 permission has expired. Therefore, nothing short of total demolition would achieve the notice’s purpose and I find that the steps required by the notice are not excessive.”

Mr Ghafoor said in his considered opinion, there was disparity between the 2009 plans and the current build.

“I find that the 2009 permission has not been implemented, irrespective of the Appellant’s argument that building work commenced before May 7 2012, because a totally different building has been constructed. “Express planning permission is required for the erection of the subject extension and it has not been obtained. The corrected matter constitutes a breach of planning control.”

A ruling was also made the development would have on greenbelt land and would appear ‘out-of-keeping with the host building and the rural qualities of the surrounding countryside’.

Even though the inspector agreed there would be some social benefits, given the creation of a specially designed function suite and office space, the proposed expansion should not be at the expense of the environment.

The inspector finally ruled that a period on nine months would reasonable for the building to be removed.