Homes dismissed as part of site fails curtilage test

Lack of compliance with a strategic gap policy has led to dismissal of plans for up to 75 dwellings on the site of a riding school located between settlements in North Yorkshire.

400-020-375 (Image Credit: Redcar & Cleveland BC)
400-020-375 (Image Credit: Redcar & Cleveland BC)

The site comprised two paddocks at a riding school and livery yard outside the town settlement boundary defined in a recently adopted local plan. Although restrictive policies applied to the site, they allowed for redevelopment of previously developed land, defined in the NPPF as land occupied by a permanent structure, including its curtilage. The appellants argued that the paddocks formed part of the riding school curtilage, being integral to its operation and in single use and ownership.

The inspector concluded that, as a matter of fact and degree, the paddocks were not part of the curtilage of the riding school buildings due to their distinct separation within the site layout. He observed that robust fencing and a blank gable end clearly separated the paddocks from buildings, parking and circulation areas and enclosures associated with the riding school.

The appellants referred to previous appeal decisions where paddocks had been considered previously developed land and to an officer’s committee report that had reached the same conclusion. As he had not been provided with full details of the appeals cited by the appellants, the inspector decided that he could not be certain of direct parallels with the case before him.

He concluded that, because not all the site was previously developed land, the proposal failed to meet one criterion in the strategic gap policy. Suburban development on the open paddocks would intrude into the rural landscape setting of the town and contravene another criterion, he held. In a separate decision, he refused the appellants’ claim for an award of costs against the council.

Inspector: David Cross; Written representations

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