Relief for Potters Bar man over planning victory

A MAN has spoken of his relief after winning a planning battle that threatened his livelihood. Three years ago, Dean Rowe converted his garage into a home office, for use in his IT support business. However, he did not realise he needed planning permissio

A MAN has spoken of his relief after winning a planning battle that threatened his livelihood.

Three years ago, Dean Rowe converted his garage into a home office, for use in his IT support business.

However, he did not realise he needed planning permission to carry out the work and, after a neighbour complained to Hertsmere Borough Council, the battle lines were drawn.

The married father-of-one applied for a change of use certificate but, after this was refused, the council served him with an enforcement notice, ordering him to reinstate the garage.


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Amid concerns the loss of his office would make his business unviable, Mr Rowe appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

And after an anxious wait, planning inspector David Rusdale ruled in his favour, allowing him to keep the office.

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Mr Rowe, of The Spinney, Potters Bar, expressed "relief" at the decision.

"It has been very stressful hanging over our heads for the last two or three years," he said.

The 36-year-old said the fight to keep his office had cost him around �10,000 and admitted the consequences for his business would have been dire if the planning inspector had ruled against him.

"I don't earn a fortune from the business," he said.

"It is a very small business and if I had to get an office outside of home it would have been unviable."

Meanwhile, councillor Hannah David, planning portfolio holder, said: "Our main concern with this

development was the effect the business might have on residential neighbours with regard to disturbance and parking.

"However, we accept the planning inspector's view that an off-street parking space and restrictions on the time deliveries can take place will go some way to lessen the impact on neighbours.

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