Prior approval for restricted residential use allowed at commercial farm

A Sunday car boot market has not stopped prior approval being granted for a residential use from a first -floor office at a farm in Somerset, subject to a farm-worker's occupancy condition and a planning agreement over other uses at the farm.

The only issue in the case was whether the proposed dwelling would provide satisfactory living conditions for its intended occupiers, having regard to the potential for noise from surrounding commercial uses at the farm. The land adjoining the farm was used for car boot sales which took place on Sundays only. But the appeal building was located in close proximity to the car boot sale activity and also lay adjacent to a former lambing shed which had permission for a mixed-use as a go-kart racetrack and indoor Sunday market. The latter provided a covered venue for the car boot sales during the winter and periods of bad weather, although the go-kart use had not been used for some time.

Despite accepting that the noise from the market and the comings and goings of cars in the adjoining car park would be significant, the inspector held that the proposed change of use would be acceptable subject to a restricted occupancy condition, put forward by the appellant, for a caretaker or security guard only, who would take up the residency in the full knowledge of the use. He opined that given the likelihood that disturbance would be limited to a single day per week and at certain times of year, the potential for noise complaints from the occupiers of the dwelling would be low. The inspector felt such an occupancy condition would be permissible under the GPDO as it would be reasonably related to the subject matter of the prior approval. He also felt the potential return of the lambing shed to agricultural use would not be any noisier than the car boot market use.

In conclusion, the inspector determined that subject to an additional unilateral undertaking ensuring the go-karting activity could not take place concurrently with the occupation of the dwelling, also proposed by the appellant, plus the planning condition in respect of restricting occupancy, he was satisfied that there would be no unacceptable noise impacts from the commercial premises.

Inspector: Robert Parker; Written representations

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