Interesting Recent Rural Planning Appeal Decisions

A number of interesting planning appeals concerning rural cases have been delivered in the last few weeks.

Firstly, an appeal was dismissed for a new agricultural dwelling on a mixed farm in Warwickshire.  Despite previously obtaining consent for a 3 year temporary dwelling on the site the inspector decided that a full time presence on the unit was only required for up to four months of the year and as such it was not essential that someone be on the site full time.  In reaching his decision the inspector referred to the superseded information of PPS7 ‘as a useful guide’.

This case demonstrates the importance of detail in such applications where, not only the business test will be analysed, but also the essential need test for being on the holding.

In a second case, the new Class Q of the GPDO 2015 was tested by the proposed conversion of former poultry building in Somerset.  The inspector concluded that raising the internal and part of the external floor levels was not allowed under the scope of permitted works and dismissed the appeal.  Anyone considering a conversion under the GPDO should carefully consider the scope of works that will be required to the structure of the building to see if these are set out in Class Q.  If they don’t, all is not lost.  A full application for change of use may still be supported by the planners.

In the final case concerning an agriculturally tied dwelling in Wales, the inspector refused to allow the removal of the restriction as insufficient marketing and research had been carried out to assess demand in the local area.  However, the condition was modified from agricultural worker to rural enterprise worker or to provide affordable housing.  In broadening the scope of the restriction it will likely be much more difficult to achieve unrestricted use of the dwelling as the market for occupiers will be far greater with the new condition in place.

In all of these cases the outcomes do not seem unfair or unpredictable.  However, they do illustrate that a lack of appreciation of the key issues concerning an application and the failure to address these correctly does not lead to a successful outcome.  Had vital issues been properly approached then these appeals may have gone the other way, or maybe not even made it to the inspector at all.  Fail  to prepare, prepare to fail.

Please get in touch if you have an interesting planning situation and would like some straightforward advice.  Failing to qualify for permitted development rights under Class Q is not the end of the story as many local authorities will still support conversions under full planning applications.

 

 

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