Second rural worker home unjustified

A second dwelling at a large boarding kennels in the Berkshire countryside was denied permission by an inspector.

The appellants intended to retire from daily running of the business but wished to continue living in their home at the kennels, as allowed by the existing occupancy tie, and so proposed an additional dwelling on the site to accommodate a new manager.

Applying the tried and tested methodology of the functional and financial tests for new rural worker dwellings set out in local plan policy based on former government planning policy advice, the inspector agreed with a functional need for a 24-hour presence for the profitable business. However, looking at the proposed future changes, the inspector found no explanatory business plan of how the kennels would continue to operate in the future or why two dwellings would be needed to cover the current level of night-time duties.

He also found no evidence why suitable alternative accommodation could not be created from existing buildings on site rather than a new build, although he accepted sharing or vacating the existing dwelling was not acceptable or feasible after reviewing case law.   

In the absence of an established need and with possible alternative accommodation available, the inspector decided the case for a new isolated dwelling in the countryside had not been made. Identifying additional harm to protected trees and ancient woodland on the site, he went on to dismiss the appeal proposal as unsustainable.

Inspector: Jonathon Parsons; Written representations 

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