DC Casebook: Agricultural development - Court judged to block farm home policy

Permission has been refused for a tennis court at a new farmhouse in Dorset after an inspector held that it would frustrate the council's policy of retaining farm dwellings proportionate to the functional requirements of each holding.

The farmhouse lay in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). The appellant argued that the tennis court was only outside the curtilage because the council was determined to make this as small as possible. However, the inspector held that this was a legitimate planning objective. PPS7 states that agricultural dwellings should be of a size matching functional requirements, she noted.

The advice clearly states that an unusually expensive dwelling in relation to agricultural needs and the income a farm can sustain should be resisted, she remarked. Failure to consider potentially expensive add-on facilities would only frustrate the policy, she added. She concluded that the scheme could not contribute positively to the area, would not be appropriate in its agricultural context and would add clutter, to the detriment of the AONB.

DCS Number 100-069-593

Inspector Gyll Grindey; Written representations.

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