Financial contribution to mitigate barn conversion necessary

Prior approval for the conversion of a barn in Hampshire to a dwellinghouse has been granted under paragraph MB.2 of Part 3 to Schedule 2 of the GPDO 1995, an inspector ruling that there was a need for the appellant to make a financial contribution towards mitigating highway impacts.

The council stated that the scheme was not permitted development because it failed to meet the requirements of paragraph MB.2(1)(a) unless a financial contribution was made via a section 106 obligation. Specifically, the council asserted that the money would assist in the provision of a cycle link which would add to the sustainability of the site. A scheme had been approved and there was an agreed mechanism for delivery.

In reviewing the proposed development the inspector accepted that the works involved the replacement of a corrugated asbestos roof, and cladding the exterior walls with timber. Mains water and electricity would also be provided and the steel frame would remain. In his opinion, in interpreting the scope of paragraph MB.1(i)(ii) the works involved only ‘partial’ demolition and were reasonably necessary to enable the conversion to occur. The appellant had submitted a unilateral undertaking which agreed to make a financial payment towards the cycle route and on this basis the appeal was allowed.

A partial award of costs was made in favour of the appellant in having to address the council’s concern that it involved more than partial demolition of the building. The council accepted that the scope of the works complied with paragraph MB.1(i)(i) in that they were necessary to enable the conversion to proceed. Since the metal frame would remain only partial rather than total demolition of the building was therefore proposed, the inspector held, and the council had acted unreasonably in then concluding that it breached the terms of paragraph MB.1(i)(ii).

Inspector: Kenneth Stone; Written representations

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