DC Casebook: Housing: New Build - Park home site extension turned down

The owners of a residential caravan site in the Worcestershire green belt have failed to persuade an inspector that they can site another eight caravans without obtaining planning permission.

Permission had been granted in 1966 for six caravans on the 0.6ha site. The appellants claimed that the addition of eight caravans would not involve a material change of use and thus was lawful. They relied on Brooks and Burton Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment [1978], where it was held that whether intensification involves a material change of use is a matter of fact and degree. They argued that there would be no material change in the site's character as a residential caravan park.

The inspector noted that the eight additional households would be dependent on local services. He also felt that locating the caravans on currently grassed areas would reduce openness and alter the site's appearance. The change would be perceived from various public viewpoints and traffic would increase on an adjoining lane, he found. This intensification would lead to a material change of use that required permission, he ruled.

The inspector concluded that the scheme involved an inappropriate form of development that would reduce openness on the site and erode its character and appearance. This impact had been increased by the construction of an access track that was not permitted development. Very special circumstances to justify the development had not been put forward and the balance lay in dismissing the appeal, he held.

DCS Number 100-069-012

Inspector David Baldock; Written representations.

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