Dwellings from farmyard holiday lets allowed without ownership tie

An inspector allowed an appeal and granted planning permission for the conversion of outbuildings on a Somerset farm to two dwellings without complying with conditions restricting occupancy to holiday lets.

The main issues before the inspector were the effect on the living conditions of the occupiers of any unrestricted dwellings, with particular regard to noise and odour from the adjoining dairy farm operation, and the effect on the viability of the farm arising from the presence of dwellings and possible complaints.

The holiday cottages had been converted from former agricultural buildings located at the edge of a complex of farm buildings immediately adjoining the working farmyard, and had operated successfully for many years without complaint about noise or odour from guests.

The council’s preference was for ownership of the farm and dwellings to remain as one, by the use of a legal agreement, to stave off a potential noise and odour conflict. The inspector observed that it was the arrangement of the buildings and farming activities that ensured satisfactory living conditions, not a legal agreement, and there was no evidence that a future change in farm owner or operator would necessarily result in disturbance. The inspector was satisfied that future occupiers of the site would have satisfactory living conditions and the presence of permanent dwellings would not prejudice the future operation of the farming business, and allowed the appeal without an ownership tie.

Inspector: M Bale; Written representations

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