New dwelling agreed to meet mixed farm needs

Permission has been granted for a farm worker's dwelling at a holding in Devon due to the functional need associated with managing a herd of 260 cows and a flock of 1,200 sheep.

The council initially claimed that time spent managing the ewes should be excluded from manpower calculations because labour requirements during the lambing season could be met with temporary mobile homes. At the hearing, it accepted a need for one full-time worker but argued that this was met by an existing farmhouse.

The inspector judged that there was a functional need for two workers. In his view, staff accommodation could only be met through a new dwelling, because the majority of the existing farm buildings were unsuitable for conversion to residential use.

He also rejected the council's request for a payment towards open space and play areas in neighbouring parishes. Since the main village where the money would be spent lay 16 miles from the appeal site, he thought it unlikely that farm workers' children would use these facilities, particularly when they would live on a farm with plenty of open space.

Inspector: John Wilde; Hearing


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