Casebook: Appeal case - Agricultural development - Market valuation held realistic on farm bungalow

An inspector has deleted an agricultural occupancy condition at a bungalow in west Wales after concluding that adequate marketing had been carried out to prove that there was no need to retain the property for farm workers.

The appellants had moved into the property in July 2002 intending to develop a rare breeds venture. Their previous application to remove the condition had been refused on the basis that a reduction of 40 per cent on the property's open-market value had not been sought. They then obtained further valuations from local estate agents that suggested discounting the open-market value of the property by between 25 and 33 per cent to reflect the occupancy restriction.

The inspector ruled that these discount rates and the value at which the property had been marketed were reasonable. The council had not put forward any empirical evidence to justify offering the property for sale at 40 per cent below its open-market value, he opined. He noted that it had been advertised for sale and no prospective buyer had been able to comply with the condition.

DCS No: 100039453; Inspector: David Sheers; Hearing.

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