Second dwelling approved at dairy farm

An agricultural worker's bungalow was allowed on a dairy farm in Yorkshire, an inspector finding that there was an essential need for it in addition to the existing farmhouse.

The farm had been established in the 1990s and was run by the appellants and their two adult sons. The business had been built up over the years through significant investment in additional land, buildings, machinery, equipment and animals. The farm would provide full-time work for at least six people, the inspector noted, though the family operated the business without any staff through working long hours. Due to the size of the herd two workers were often required to assist with calving during the night. As the appellants had grown older the sons had increasingly taken on responsibility for work that needed to be done in the early morning, late evening and during the night but the appellants had no intention of ending their active role and planned to continue to live in the farmhouse for the rest of their lives.

Both sons were partially sighted, the inspector noted, and were unable to obtain driving licences. It was therefore essential for them to live on the farm and although the farmhouse had provided a shared home for many years it was not unreasonable, he held, for all of them to expect a greater amount of independence. The proposal would allow one or both of the sons to establish their own separate home. Further, agricultural consultants representing both parties agreed that, irrespective of the personal circumstances, it would generally be necessary for at least two herdsmen to live on site.

The proposed dwelling was required in order to meet an essential need for a rural worker to live permanently at or near their place of work in the countryside, the inspector concluded.

Inspector: William Fieldhouse; Hearing


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