Home rejected at fruit transport depot

Two appeals involving a Kent transport business have been rejected after an inspector ruled that the retention of a mobile home was not justified and a permanent dwelling would be objectionable.

The appellant and his family operated a small business specialising in the transport of fruit from nearby farms to a number of large packing and sorting centres for distribution to retailers and markets. He explained that the family had occupied a mobile home on the land since the 1970s and permanent permission for its retention was granted in 2000, subject to a condition restricting its occupation to himself and his wife. He argued that if a permanent dwelling were refused, the occupancy condition should be lifted.

The inspector held that a functional need for a permanent dwelling had not been substantiated. He saw no overriding need for the business's rural location, since it mainly involved siting large vehicles. Moreover, he found that no evidence had been submitted on the financial viability of the business. If it ceased trading it would leave a permanent dwelling on the land, he reasoned.

Lifting the condition would allow the appellant to vacate the mobile home and could lead to its occupation by someone unrelated to the haulage business, he said. If the firm ceased trading, the unit would become inappropriate development and justification to retain it would end, he held.

DCS Number 100-050-445

Inspector David Harmston; Hearing.

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