DC Casebook: Agricultural development - Second farm home meets size criterion

An inspector has allowed a second agricultural dwelling on a farm in Somerset after finding that its size would be commensurate with the agricultural needs of the holding.

The local authority had accepted that a second dwelling was justified and granted permission for one with a floor space of 149m2. However, it contended that the floor area of 173m2 proposed by the appellant would be contrary to the objectives of PPS7. Its decision was influenced by advice in the supporting text of a local plan policy indicating that the floor space of the first or only dwelling on a holding should not exceed 200m2 and should be limited to 150m2 for a second dwelling.

The inspector noted that the policy had not been saved. However, he agreed that the supporting text gave some useful guidance and attached some weight to it. He also recognised that although the new home would be the second to be built on the holding, the appellant intended it to be viewed as the primary dwelling and the existing bungalow as the secondary dwelling. He observed that the floor area of the new home would be less than the guideline maximum for a first dwelling and that the floor area of the bungalow fell within the policy guideline for a second.

The council argued that if additional accommodation were needed it should have been provided in the first dwelling. The inspector considered, however, that the desire for the new home to be viewed as the primary dwelling would genuinely reflect the way in which the enterprise had developed over the years. He was not persuaded that it would be seen as an abuse of the system.

DCS Number 100-064-402

Inspector Gareth Isaac; Hearing

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