Casebook: Appeal cases - Agricultural development - Permitted development claim rejected at farm

Two enforcement notices directed against uses of agricultural land in west Cumbria have been upheld after an inspector held that they were not permitted development and harmed the character of the area.

The first notice alleged the unauthorised creation of a hardstanding area, storage of non-agricultural machinery and construction of a lean-to building. The inspector decided that the development was not permitted under classes A and B, part 6, schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 because the site involved an agricultural unit of less than 5ha and the appellant had given no prior notification of the works.

The second notice claimed that a semi-derelict farmhouse had been converted back to residential use. The inspector noted that the original residential use had ceased many years before the conversion works. He found that the use had been abandoned and that in the absence of a subsisting lawful residential use, permitted development rights did not apply. Moreover, he ruled that the works amounted to more than repair and maintenance of an existing building and constituted a conversion for which permission was required.

On the planning merits, the inspector decided that the uses had undermined the character of the area and could see no justification for re-establishing a residential use. The small size of the holding did not justify a permanent presence and the other works were not genuinely necessary for the agricultural use of the holding, he concluded.

DCS No: 32228801; Inspector: Sean Slack; Inquiry.

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