Court, courtroom, law.
A court order calling for a woman to repaint her home has been quashed.
Following a decision from the high court, Property developer Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring can ignore a council order to repaint her red and white striped London townhouse.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea had served Lisle-Mainwaring with a notice to repaint the property, having stated that it was out of keeping with the look of the area.
Relying on section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, the council stated that the decoration was “incongruous with the streetscape of South End” and required her to paint “all external paintwork located on the front elevation white” within a period 28 days.
Having failed numerous appeals during 2016, Mainwaring finally brought a judicial review earlier this year, to which the judge ruled in her favour.
Due to section 215 of the 1990 Act concerning amenity, an issue for the judge to consider was whether this could be harmed by the painting scheme if the local authority believed this to be the case.
Having stated that the striped decoration had been “entirely lawful”, Mr Justice Gilbart questioned whether a section 215 notice could be used “where the complaint is not lack of maintenance or repair, but of aesthetics”.
He decided that this was beyond the intention of the section, stating: “to deal with questions of aesthetics, as opposed to disrepair or dilapidation, falls outside the intention and spirit of the planning code.”
The judge also addressed an initial decision from the crown court, which had acknowledged the reasoning behind Mainwaring’s decision to paint the property.
Her alleged ‘pique’, did not mean that the legislation would be applied any differently, as “section 215 does not entitle one to address the motive of a landowner.”
He concluded by stating: “I am therefore of the view that it is an improper use of section 215 to use it to alter a lawful painting scheme, when there is no suggestion that there is any want of maintenance or repair in the land.”