DC Casebook: Agricultural Development - Permanent seasonal staff unit blocked

The retention of a mobile home used for seasonal workers' accommodation at a farm in Sussex is not justified by the needs of the business, an inspector has concluded.

The predominant activity at the farm related to a straw business, which does not meet the definition of agriculture in section 336(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. However, the inspector accepted that the unit would be associated with a rural-based enterprise. Despite its use to accommodate seasonal or temporary workers, he reasoned that the unit would be in place permanently and for practical purposes amounted to permanent accommodation.

He accepted that the business needed temporary staff. However, he did not consider that sufficient evidence had been provided on the number of staff involved, the timing and length of their stay or the hours and nature of their work to support the contention that they were needed throughout the year and had to be available at all times.

Even if employees worked antisocial hours for some of the year and it was necessary to have them living on-site so they were readily available, he was not convinced that this justified the provision of accommodation that was permanently present rather than the use of temporary caravans.

DCS Number 100-064-244

Inspector Christopher Bowden; Written representations

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