Chicken farm removal benefit and fallback given limited weight

The construction of five dwellings on the site of a chicken farm in Essex has been dismissed, an inspector placing little weight on the benefits of removing the existing use and the appellant's ability to convert some of the building to three houses.

The scheme had received support from some local residents who preferred the development to the continued operation of the farm which caused odours and generated traffic. In addition, the appellant stated that the three dwellings would be provided if the appeal was lost and it was therefore preferable to undertake a comprehensive redevelopment of the entire site.

In the inspector’s opinion the site lay in a relatively unsustainable location with few local facilities so that future occupiers would be car-dependent. Selling the chicken farm to another farmer was unlikely to lead to a significant intensification of the existing use and in any event there was a reasonable prospect that some of the buildings would be converted to residential. But there was little information on the size of these dwellings and whether or not it would lead to a greater intensification of residential use compared with the appeal scheme. Consequently, these factors along with the need to boost the supply of housing were not overriding in importance.

Inspector: Mark Caine; Written representations

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