Lawful siting of caravan allows cabin

An inspector has given planning permission for the retention of a log cabin in the Cornwall area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in the light of a lawful development certificate allowing a caravan to be sited on the land.

The council had issued a certificate in 1999 confirming that the siting of one residential caravan on the land was lawful so long as it was no more than 9m long and 3m wide. The appellant had replaced the caravan with a log cabin only slightly wider than the authorised caravan. The inspector held that the cabin's impact on the AONB was significant and did not conserve its natural beauty.

However, he recognised that the appellant could remove the cabin and site another caravan on the land because the lawful use had not been abandoned. In his view, there was no material difference in size between the caravan and the cabin. Although a caravan could be towed away, he saw no evidence from the site's history that this was a realistic possibility. The difference between the lawful and actual position was not so significant as to justify withholding permission, he decided.

DCS Number 100-050-724

Inspector Nick Freeman; Hearing.

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