DC Casebook: Agricultural development - Quarantine unit fails on landscape harm

An inspector has accepted the principle of an agricultural dwelling and quarantine unit in Cheshire but concluded that the development would be too prominent in the landscape.

The appellant owned a herd of cattle included on DEFRA's rare breeds at risk register and intended to double its size over five years. The unit would provide quarantine facilities to ensure that animals were not diseased before being introduced into the herd or before being sold.

Although the unit would provide a standard of care not currently considered essential in livestock production, the inspector appreciated that its benefits were recognised by industry experts. She reasoned that the unit could only reduce the risk of the outbreak of disease and was satisfied that it was reasonably necessary for agricultural purposes.

Turning to the need for an agricultural dwelling to accommodate a stock manager, the inspector accepted that the development would help the farm remain profitable. She agreed that remote tracking would not reliably inform the manager of the health of the animals, which could have serious implications for high-value stock.

However, she saw that the scheme would necessitate excavation of a substantial volume of material to create a plateau 50m long. The land's natural appearance would be harmfully eroded, she judged. In addition, she considered that the overall scale and mass would be incongruous in the existing pattern of development and would appear as a significant building in the landscape.

DCS Number 100-069-450

Inspector Kay Sheffield; Hearing

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