Barn conversion rejected at mixed enterprise operation

An appellant in Dorset has failed to obtain approval under Class MB of Part 3 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995 for the residential conversion of a damaged barn, an inspector ruling that it did not comprise an established agricultural unit.

The holding extended to 60 acres and included a small agricultural enterprise involving cattle, pigs and turkey breeding at Christmas along with livery activity, fishing lakes and holiday cabins. Although half the acreage was in agricultural use, 89 per cent of the income was derived from other activities, the inspector recorded, and in her view the enterprise comprised a mix of uses and not primarily a farm enterprise. Consequently, it did not form part of an established agricultural unit and the permitted development rights under Class MB did not apply.

In any event, the barn occupied an isolated location and there was little evidence to support its occupation by a farm worker given the limited farming activity occurring on the unit. Its re-use as a dwelling would have a greater impact on the surrounding countryside than the existing building which was in a poor state following snow damage. Since it would lead to the creation of an isolated dwelling in the countryside the scheme was not sustainable.

Inspector: Sukie Tamplin; Written representations

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