No exceptional need for house at rural learning centre

A live-work house incorporating a learning centre in Yorkshire was rejected, an inspector finding that there were no circumstances to justify a new dwelling in the countryside.

200-001-218 (Image Credit: East Riding of Yorkshire Council)
200-001-218 (Image Credit: East Riding of Yorkshire Council)

The inspector noted that although the site was on the edge of a village it had no services or facilities. She recorded that children and their teachers would visit the site from local primary schools and nurseries in the eastern part of the urban area and surrounding villages. Class groups would be limited to 24 children, and there would be two sessions a day during term time.

The intention was for children to come to the site by public transport and this would form part of the learning experience. The inspector was not persuaded, however, that using the bus would provide the most practical or efficient way of getting groups of young children to visit the site. She reasoned that not all nurseries and schools were likely to enjoy direct bus links to the site.

This would contribute to the bus being regarded as a more time consuming, logistically difficult and less convenient option for transporting children. The business plan indicated that 24 children could be accommodated on a single minibus and it seemed to the inspector that this would be the more likely choice of transport mode.

The appellant outlined that there was a need for a dwelling so that the business venture could be created, arguing that it was the benefits that the creation of the business would bring which justified the location of the house in the countryside. The business would provide a combination of education and hands-on experience of growing, collecting and producing food. There would be an outdoor area for animals including chickens, pigs and a donkey, and another for horticultural purposes. The intention was that local villagers could give talks to the children and the centre could be used by the agricultural college.

The inspector remarked, however, that the business would be an educational facility that would operate Monday to Friday between March and October for a maximum of four hours a day. On this basis, she took the view that the contribution that the business would make to the overall strength of the rural economy would be limited. She was not convinced that the proposal would result in any significant benefits to economic growth, would contribute to any great extent to supporting a prosperous rural economy, or materially add to the strength and vibrancy of the community.

As such, and since there was no compelling reason for the appellant to live at her place of work, she saw no compelling reasons to allow a house in the countryside.

Inspector Elaine Worthington; Hearing

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