The site was previously used as an equestrian establishment. The new enterprise would be focused on a large building, part of which would be converted into residential accommodation allowing the appellants to live on-site as managers. The council did not object to the facility but doubted whether the business would be financially viable.
The inspector accepted that there was a functional need for a manager to live on-site to maximise the effectiveness of the unit and optimise its chances of success. The financial projections submitted indicated an annual profit of more than £21,000 by the third year. Although this was largely due to the appellants' specialist skills, he found no fundamental flaws in the estimates.
He noted PPS7's recommendation that temporary accommodation should initially be provided before a more permanent dwelling is allowed. However, he accepted that a caravan or chalet would undermine the Dedham Vale area of outstanding natural beauty. He decided that a temporary permission was justified given the particular circumstances of the case.
It was a matter for the appellants to assess whether the cost of converting the building was justified on the basis of a temporary permission, he held. He allowed the appeal subject to conditions requiring the residential use to cease after three years unless otherwise renewed by the council and limiting occupation to people employed in connection with the business.
DCS Number 100-050-557
Inspector Richard Ogier; Hearing.