A Local architectural consultant had submitted a planning application for the refurbishment of a former farmhouse near Llanrwst in Conwy. However, the Local Planning Authority were of the view that the residential use rights had been abandoned and that the application now constituted the conversion of a disused farm building in to a dwelling.

Owen Devenport were called in to assess the legal and planning implications of the Council's stance. If the LPA were correct, then the application would not accord with their policies and it is unlikely that permission would be forthcoming. However, it was our opinion that in legal terms the residential use had not been abandoned.


Numerous case studies and areas of case law were examined in order to prove that even though the property had been empty for some 50 years this still did not constitute abandonment in the eyes of the Law. A detailed planning statement was put together for the client who then submitted this to the LPA as part of the planning application.

After much deliberation the LPA changed their view and on the evidence of our submission it was accepted that the property still had it's residential use rights and as a consequence, planning permission was granted.