One Planet Development cabin unjustified

The material change of use of agricultural land to a mixed use involving the stationing of a caravan for residential use, a workshop, polytunnels, goat shelter and toilet block in open countryside in Pembrokeshire has been refused ,and an enforcement notice requiring its reinstatement upheld, for being unjustified development in the open countryside. A separate appeal for a cabin and similar structures under the Welsh Governments’ One Planet Development policy was also refused.

The inspector addressed both the enforcement and planning appeals in his decision letter. 

With regard to the One Planet Development proposal under TAN6, the inspector held the appellant’s smallholding business scheme was fundamentally flawed because it was not supported by robust evidence and a management plan produced by a competent person. The appellant had submitted their own supporting evidence, but the inspector held there was too much uncertainty over the achievability of the plans to provide for the minimum needs of the appellant in terms of food, income, energy and waste assimilation due to the poor quality of the land for fruit and vegetable production and limited financial appraisals. Additionally, he could not determine whether or not the development would meet the OPD requirement to provide very low carbon residential buildings due to a lack of information regarding the structure and permanence of the cabin proposed. His overall conclusion was that the proposed development did not meet the requirements set out in the Welsh Government’s Practice Guidance on One Planet Development and so represented unjustified development in the countryside. 

In addressing the enforcement appeal against the existing caravan and other structures erected on the land, the inspector concluded the appeal was unsuccessful on all grounds. He held the occasional residential use of the caravan did amount to a material change of use of the land as a matter of fact and the permanent nature of the structures meant planning permission for them was required. Granting permission for the breach would, he deemed, fall foul of the same policies which aim to safeguard the countryside against unjustified development. He varied the period of compliance for the notice from six to nine months to take into account the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Inspector: Clive Nield; Written representations


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