CASEBOOK: Appeal cases - Commercial and industrial - Reuse of poultry houses supported with costs

A scheme involving the use of two poultry houses at a farm in Cambridgeshire for storage and light industrial uses has been approved, with costs being awarded in favour of the appellant.

The appeal site comprised a poultry house of 930 sq m together with part of a second building. The appellant argued that the application had been submitted to regularise the activities of the current occupiers involving storage and a carpentry workshop. He also asserted that the council, in determining the application, had relied on the activities associated with a previous occupier.

This had distorted its understanding of the uses proposed, the appellant argued. The inspector agreed, noting that the amount of floorspace involved and the nature of the uses would not create large numbers of employees. She estimated that the development would create no more than ten jobs.

She awarded costs to the appellant, concluding that the council had failed to properly consider the application in the light of its own policies. It had failed to assess whether the scheme would create local employment opportunities and had appeared to disregard national and local planning policies supporting conversion of redundant farm buildings and enhancement of the rural economy, she held.

DCS No: 29473473; Inspector: Lucy Drake; Hearing.

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