CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Agricultural development - Dwelling judged beyond means of enterprise

A proposed dwelling at a mixed agricultural and equine business in Hampshire has been rejected on the grounds that the profits from the enterprise were unlikely to sustain the construction of the property.

The appellants, who reared beef cattle and horses, occupied a temporary mobile home on the site. They claimed that although they owned a cottage nearby, this was already occupied by an agricultural worker under a protected tenancy and in any event was too far from the holding to provide effective security.

The inspector noted that procedures were available which would allow the appellants to move into the cottage once the existing occupier was rehoused. She pointed out that under the Rent (Agriculture) Act 1976, the occupier could be offered local authority or housing association properties where there was a proven need to live and work in the locality in agriculture.

She found that the property was sufficiently close to the enterprise to meet the functional needs of the enterprise. In addition, she noted that the profit from the farm only just exceeded the minimum agricultural wage. The estimated £60,000 cost of building the house would not leave enough for further investment in the business, she considered.

DCS No: 30263611; Inspector; Jill Kingaby; Inquiry.

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