Green belt barn allowed with partial costs award

An appellant has been successful in obtaining permission for a barn at his farm in the Surrey green belt, with an inspector also deciding that a partial award of costs should be made against the council.

The council alleged that there was insufficient need for a barn and as a consequence it involved inappropriate development in the green belt. They also relied on the impact on the setting of a listed building originally owned by a famous explorer from Victorian times who had embarked on a mission to find Dr Livingstone in the Nile region of Africa.

The council had commissioned an independent assessment of the need for the barn which had concluded that additional space to store animal feed and farm equipment was proven. There was little evidence to rebut this conclusion, the inspector held, and although the barn would lie within the curtilage of the listed building it would not have a detrimental effect upon it. Since the appellant was entitled to make reference to the independent agricultural appraisal the council should have produced more evidence to support its rejection of the need case and its conclusion that it was inappropriate in the green belt. It had failed to do this and a partial award of costs was therefore made in favour of the appellant.

Inspector: David Murray; Hearing


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