Vehicle repair workshop accepted in open countryside

A vehicle repair workshop from a redundant agricultural building in open countryside in Cumbria was approved, as supporting the rural economy, with no harm to the living conditions of nearby occupiers or resultant unacceptable traffic levels.

The proposal would change the use of the agricultural building to provide a vehicle bodywork repair business incorporating a spray booth and facilities for associated mechanical repairs. The council was concerned that additional vehicle movements, when compared with the current situation, would cause noise, nuisance and disturbance which would affect the living conditions of occupiers of neighbouring properties. But the inspector held there was no evidence to support the view that the proposed business would create traffic noise and disturbance over and above that which could be expected by the current authorised use as an agricultural building or that a restricted general industrial use would lead to significant harm to living conditions with respect to privacy, noise and disturbance. She considered the proposal was an exception to the locational policies of the adopted plan because it would re-use a redundant rural building and contribute to diversification of the rural economy.

The inspector awarded partial costs against the council for behaving unreasonably by submitting late evidence with regard to their updated position in relation to the status of their local plan. 

Inspector: E Symmons; Written representations


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