Casebook: Appeal case - Agricultural Development - Inspector rules out homes for cattle farm workers

The redevelopment of a partly demolished barn at a beef and dairy farm in Staffordshire has been blocked following a ruling that other accommodation might be available for farm workers.

Permission had been granted in 1992 to convert the building into two dwellings. Works to implement the permission were carried out after the roof was removed following a fire but then ceased temporarily. Three sides of the building were then removed and partly rebuilt. The appellants argued that although the original permission could no longer be implemented, the council's decision to allow two dwellings was an important material consideration because at least part of the scheme would amount to rebuilding the original barn.

The inspector was not persuaded that the site's planning history outweighed the lack of justification for the dwellings. The appellants had not provided accounts to substantiate the claim that the business was profitable and could support two on-site workers, he found. He noted that a dwelling within their control was let on a short-term basis to a non-farm worker and could be made available to at least one of the proposed farm workers.

DCS No: OT100-045-637; Inspector: Jeremy Youle; Hearing.

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