Retention of "perfectly serviceable dwelling" refused as unsuitably located

The retention of a bungalow at a farmstead in open countryside in Warwickshire has been refused as contrary to the policies of the adopted local plan and national guidance with regard to location and sustainable development.

The bungalow was subject to a condition requiring its demolition on occupation of a new dwelling at the farmstead. The latter had been built and occupied. Whilst the inspector could find no harm arising from the bungalow in visual or character terms, they held its retention, without evidenced justification, would set a precedent and undermine the council’s housing strategy which directed new development to urban areas, growth settlements or other named villages. Equally, the bungalow was over two miles from the nearest facilities along unlit roads with no footways, which the inspector determined was not within a reasonable safe walking distance. No justification for the retention of the bungalow in terms of need for a rural worker or other needs had been submitted with the appeal other than the appellant’s claim that it was "irrational to demolish a perfectly serviceable dwelling". However, the inspector concluded that the building’s contribution to the supply of housing was minimal and did not outweigh the harm of allowing it in an unsuitable location. 

Inspector: K Stephens; Written representations

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