A Herefordshire resident who didn’t meet a requirement to have a connection to the area that went with his house has been told this isn’t a problem.

Glenn Simkins has lived at The Sycamores, Little Birch between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye since 2012, according to his application for a “certificate of lawfulness” legitimising this.

By his own admission he did not meet the local housing need condition which was a condition of the permission for the dormer bungalow to be built, granted in 1992.

This required that any occupant be able to demonstrate a need for accommodation and to have lived “in the locality” for at least three years, or had long-standing family or other connects with it, or who “provided a service to the locality”, or who were elderly or disabled and moving to be supported by family.

None of these applied to Mr Simkins, he and one unnamed other state in a declaration with the application. But as he has now lived there more than ten years, this condition can no longer be enforced under planning law, his application claimed.

This appeared to satisfy county planning officer Elsie Morgan, who concluded that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, “a longstanding breach of the obligation has been established”.

“On that basis, the breach is immune from enforcement, giving rise to a right to occupy the bungalow in breach of the occupancy restriction,” she confirmed.

But the issuing of a certificate of lawfulness “does not removal [sic] the legal obligation and the applicant has been made aware of this”, she added.