Operational need for static caravan not justified in green belt

An enforcement notice against the siting of a static caravan for residential use and a storage container in open countryside in the Cheshire green belt was upheld on appeal as inappropriate development, reducing openness and resulting in encroachment into the countryside, with no essential need for the purposes of the associated smallholding clearly established to justify exceptional circumstances.

The appellant had argued that the static caravan and storage areas were necessary for the operational needs of the smallholding involving the keeping of rare breed chickens and pigs. But the inspector felt that there was insufficient evidence that such activities needed a day and night presence and could not be monitored for health and security purposes remotely. He concluded that the activities being undertaken were not constrained to that particular site in the green belt and therefore could not be regarded as an exception. Indeed, he agreed with the council's concerns that such activity could quite easily be replicated elsewhere within the green belt and to allow this development would undermine the objectives of including the land within the green belt and lead to a proliferation of such uses elsewhere, contrary to national planning guidance and the development plan. 

Inspector: Alastair Phillips; Written representations

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