Barn conversion granted near to concrete factory

The siting of a barn conversion in the Devon countryside has been approved as permitted development under Class Q of the GPDO, 2015 despite being located close to concrete factory in a mineral safeguarding area, with no harm to the living conditions of future occupiers with regard to noise and no significant constraints with respect to the economic viability of the local minerals industry.

The only issue of contention in the appeal was the siting of the proposed barn conversion near to the concrete factory. The concrete products factory building was a longstanding enterprise and could lawfully operate in an unrestricted manner at any time of day or night and the council were concerned that the appellant’s noise assessment was not sufficiently robust to rule out noise disturbance and possible future complaints. Indeed, a previous appeal for a similar proposal at the site had been dismissed for insufficient evidence regarding noise concerns.

In this appeal, an updated noise assessment had been submitted and showed that, based on national BS8233:2014 standards and World Health Organisation Guidelines, the recorded daytime and night time ambient sound levels were within acceptable levels. The inspector accepted this updated evidence, despite concerns raised by the Mineral Planning Authority regarding the BS standard used and also considered the council’s concerns about the inadequacy of the duration of sound recordings for the assessment were unfounded. The inspector afforded little weight to concerns regarding possible changes in activities at the factory affecting future noise levels or to those about adverse impacts on the minerals business itself. In finding no harm, the inspector concluded there was no conflict with local or national policy with regard to restricting developments in mineral safeguarding areas.

Inspector: Ian Bowen; Written representations

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