Casebook: Appeal cases - Householder Development. Mobile home ruled unjustified in countryside area

The retention of a mobile home next to a bungalow in West Sussex has been rejected after a ruling that it was in an inappropriate location and harmed the countryside's character and appearance.

The inspector considered that the mobile home gave the impression of being an extension to the curtilage of the bungalow rather than a natural and integral part of it. While accepting that this did not determine its legal status, he took the view that public perception of the development rather than legal niceties was likely to be the most significant aspect in assessing its effect on the character and appearance of the countryside.

He did not consider that shared access and services made the mobile home ancillary to the use of the dwelling. Neither did he find the extent to which the occupant shared meals and facilities in the bungalow sufficient to establish an ancillary use. He expressed very serious reservations as to whether accommodation that was physically distinct from another dwelling and was occupied by someone who did not work in that dwelling or its curtilage could be regarded as ancillary to it.

Even if the mobile home were considered ancillary, he added, it would conflict with a local plan policy requiring such accommodation to be in the form of an extension to the dwelling. He concluded that the site was not an appropriate location for a mobile home. It stood out as an intrusive and inharmonious feature that added appreciably to the existing clutter of structures in the area and detracted from the character and appearance of the countryside, he ruled.

DCS No: 100039332; Inspector: Phil Grainger; Hearing.

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