The appellant’s holding, which he and his partner purchased in 2010, consisted of mainly ring fenced grassland, pig arcs and a limited number of loose boxes and timber buildings that were used for storage and the keeping of animals. The appellant argued that work often needed to be carried out during anti-social hours, given the need for general animal husbandry and care. The appellant stated that lambing, calving, farrowing and rearing took place at various times throughout the year, and supervision was required for the animals’ welfare and in emergencies. The receipt of delivered goods, the delivery of farm produce to customers, sorting and loading of livestock for collection in the early morning, and the increased level of security were also put forward as reasons for a 24-hour presence on the site.
The inspector had little doubt that a presence on site late at night, overnight or in the early morning was required on occasions. However, the enterprise was relatively small scale with a limited amount of animals. Furthermore, no detailed information about the number of animal births, injuries, deaths or the number and duration of evening and night-time visits was placed before the inspector. The information available to the inspector was found not sufficient to convince him that there was a functional need for a permanent residential presence on the site. In the absence of comprehensive audited accounts it was also not clear to him whether the enterprise has been planned on a sound financial basis or that there was a firm intention and ability to develop the enterprise.
Inspector: Mark Caine; Hearing