DC Casebook: Agricultural Development - Mobile stables evade building definition

An appellant has fended off an enforcement notice requiring her to remove a wooden stable block on land in North Yorkshire after an inspector decided that it is defective because the structure does not comprise a building.

The prefabricated structure had been assembled on-site. It was more than 7m long, almost 4m wide and more than 3m high and mounted on a timber frame and skids. Brackets allowed it to be towed by a tractor. It had no floor but rubber mats were placed in it directly onto the grass.

The inspector noted the judgement in Skerritts of Nottingham Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions [2000], where the Court of Appeal held that whether or not a structure is a building depends on its size, permanence and attachment to the ground. The appeal structure did not rely on a hardstanding or foundations for support, she found.

The inspector agreed that it could have been assembled without specialist assistance from a builder and noted that water running off the roof was channelled directly onto the ground, with no fixed drainage system. In this light, she held that it did not involve a building and did not constitute development within the meaning of section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

DCS Number 100-069-048

Inspector Janice Chance; Written representations.

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