PD condition used as a model template

An inspector allowed retention of an agricultural building in the Gloucestershire countryside after redrafting a defective condition requiring its removal when no longer needed for agricultural purposes.

The appeal site had a long and complicated planning history, including outstanding enforcement action directed at a breach of condition through unlawful use as a dwelling, but the inspector directed herself only to whether the degree of control imposed by the condition was precise, necessary and relevant to the development, in order to reasonably safeguard the countryside from unjustified development.

The inspector’s attention was drawn to a condition of Part 6 permitted development rights,  which requires the removal of an agricultural building where the use of the building for agricultural purposes permanently ceases within ten years from the date on which development was substantially completed and where no subsequent permission is granted or deemed to be granted for an alternative use within three years of the cessation of the use for agricultural purposes. The purpose of this condition being to safeguard the countryside from the proliferation of agricultural buildings. The inspector decided the wording of this condition achieved the planning control that the council was seeking through the condition it had imposed but through a form of words that met the tests required by the NPPF, whereas the condition at issue was not precise with its reference to ‘no longer needed’ for agriculture and unreasonably onerous in requiring removal of a permanent building in perpetuity rather than within a specified period. She decided to allow the appeal and grant a new planning permission without the disputed condition but substituting it with a varied wording.

Inspector: Helen O’Connor; Written representations

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