• July 2017
    "I see a white wall and I want it painted red!" (with apologies to Mick and Keith)

    The above seems to sum up the feelings of Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring when she decided to paint the outside of her commercial property in a Conservation Area of the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with red and white stripes.

    Her choice in external décor did not impress the Borough nor her neighbours and they served upon her a Section 215 Notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 stating that the colour scheme was adversely affecting the condition of the land and she should paint the building all white.  

    The Isleworth Crown Court upheld the Borough in respect of their action finding that the stripes affected the condition of the land and adversely affected amenity.  The Owner chose to appeal against the Crown Court decision by applying for Judicial Review of the decision and the matter ended up before Judge Gilbart J in the Administration Division of the High Court.   The Judge decided that because it is permissible to paint your own building any colour under Class C2 Permitted Development and the paint did not actually affect the condition of the land, the Notice should not stand.   The Judge found that the Section 215 Notice procedure should deal with the condition of the land or buildings in the usual sense of the word, but should not be concerned with the question of aesthetics or taste.   The Section 215 procedure was not intended to exercise a control over permitted development which affected the choice of exterior finish.   The owner therefore succeeded in her appeal and the red and white stripes remained!

    The Borough could have made a Direction under Planning  Legislation restricting the colours used for re-painting within a particular area but they had not done so in this case.   If they had done they would have had to pay compensation to building owners for the requirement to change the exterior paint work.   Their choice of using a Section 215 Notice was in these circumstances inappropriate.

    For further information please contact Paul Stevens on 01473 25591 or email

    This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive.  Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.


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