Agricultural tie lifted on national park dwelling

A condition restricting use of a house in the Peak District has been lifted following findings that it did not comply with national policy.

Permission for the dwelling had been granted in 1973 subject to an agricultural occupancy condition. In 2014, the national park authority granted a lawful use certificate authorising the property’s use as a dwellinghouse without complying with the condition. A new owner-occupier then applied to have the condition lifted altogether.

The park authority refused to allow an unrestricted market house in an unsustainable location in open countryside without evidence that an occupancy-restricted dwelling was no longer needed. It questioned whether reasonable attempts had been made to enable the dwelling to be occupied in compliance with the condition, expressing concern over future pressure to build more agricultural workers’ dwellings in a sensitive landscape. 

The inspector noted that, unlike a previous local plan, recently adopted development plan policy on agricultural occupancy restrictions concerned itself only with removal of section 106 agreements and did not refer to removal of conditions. On that basis, he concluded, the new policy was not relevant to his decision. Given that the condition did not control lawful use of the dwelling, which was immune from enforcement action, and finding it unlikely that the property would ever revert to an agricultural dwelling, he concluded that it was no longer necessary or enforceable.

Inspector: Andrew Parkin; Hearing

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