Green Belt appeal decisions
Caravans & mobile homes(other)
Updated 11 May 2007, this page includes various recent decisions on appeals against refusal of planning consent. Summarises of appeal decisions arising from refusal of planning consent are available at www.Planning Reource.co,uk/dcs, with a copy of the decision letter also available for a fee.
'SoS' = Secretary of State. 'DETR' is now ‘DCLG’ = Dept for Communities and Local Government.
Gypsies and show people are now on a separate page.
Manager’s mobile home allowed in Heathrow
GB. A cattery
manager’s mobile home was allowed due to VSC. The cattery, part of a larger site in the
same ownership with kennels and a manager’s dwelling, had not been used
since 1999 being substandard.
Improvements had been made but a licence could not be issued until there
was lawful accommodation on site for management and supervision. The Inspector accepted it added cumulatively
to the overall site coverage and intensity of development on the site, but the
home reduced openness of the GB. There
did not appear to be any other suitable accommodation for the manager and the
mobile home would be inconspicuous. It
had been imprudent to let the existing house but it had not been a deliberate
attempt to abuse the planning system.
The need for this accommodation outweighed the harm to the GB. It did
not set a precedent on human rights and was not an invitation to anyone to
build a house or site a mobile home anywhere without prior permission.
Mobile home allowed at
Heathrow workers caravans refused in Met
GB. The appellant wanted
to retain the caravans for another 3 years because work would continue to
2011. The Inspector decided that there
was a lack of evidence to support the arguments and BAA had failed to provide
information to show how this accommodation was vital to the work. The caravans were a substantial and notably
urbanising for of development undermining the openness. Moving the workers and families did not
violate their human rights. The
legitimate aim of protecting the GB could only be secured by refusing
Essex GB caravans get temporary approval. 3 interconnected
caravans had been converted and adapted to a residential building at a
farm. A lawful development certificate
had been issued in 1994 for 2 caravans used for storage, a canteen and toilet
for the farm workers. Later they were
adapted to become an agricultural worker’s dwelling. The Inspector noted the limited agricultural
activity and modest income arising from it. He agreed to take a realist
approach to profitability and noted
Heathrow Terminal 5 workers caravans
refused. The appellant argued
it was necessary to house workers from outside the area and shift working
including 24-hour stints meant having to live
nearby. Without temporary accommodation
the work could be delayed. The DPM acknowledged the
demand for housing but the caravans would materially harm the openness of the
green belt with no clear indication as to how their removal would materially
delay work. There were no very special
circumstances, but he allowed 6 months for compliance. Enforcement notices against a builder’s
yard and tyre storage were upheld.
Heathrow Terminal 5 workers caravans cannot be
housed on GB. An appeal seeking temporary approval was held to be incompatible with
GB policy. An appeal against an
enforcement order was dismissed in 2003.
The current appeal argued the national importance of completing T5 with
delay outweighed the inappropriate use.
The Inspector decided the 30 caravans was modest and BAA’s own
caravan park would remain available so there were insufficient special
Mobile home OK at Herts GB kennels. Permission was
granted for three years after very special circumstances were given . Kennels had animal welfare and security needs
requiring 24-hour staff presence on site in order to comply with the kennels
licence. The council argued that someone
living 5 minutes drive away would suffice, but the Inspector ruled that the
licence required on-site staff at all times.
The stated level of investment showed a commitment to a long-term and
financially viable business. The mobile
home would provide adequate accommodation.
The Inspector agreed with the council that the site history showed abuse
of the planning system and the kennels were now separated from the dwelling,
but this did not affect his ruling on the need for on-site accommodation. Any concerns of separating the kennels from
the kennels could be met by occupancy conditions.
Caravan conversion created a permanent dwelling
in Lancs GB. Temporary permission
was granted in 1991 to retain a caravan on the site. When the time limit expired it was not
removed, and a chimney breast, kitchen alcove and porch had been added. In 2000 a cert of lawfulness was issued for
the caravan and extensions. An
application was refused for a replacement dwelling which would be 25% larger,
also taller and bulkier. The Inspector
dismissed the appeal since it would reduce the openness of the
countryside. The existing structure was effectively
a permanent dwelling since removal of the caravan would cause the extension to
collapse, but no very special circumstances had been put forward.
Berks GB caravans enforcement order
validity. Residential caravans were
sited at dog kennels, and an enforcement order against this use was validly
served having been affixed to the entrance gates. Although the Inspector agreed the council
could have done more to effect service, it was valid. The appeal claimed permission under General
Permitted Development order 1995 part 5, allowing occupation by workers
employed in carrying out building or engineering operations. The 40or so caravans were used by workers
extracting gravel for construction of Heathrow terminal 5. The Inspector ruled that this did not include
mining , which elsewhere could continue for several years. He agreed there was a shortage of
accommodation for workers in the project but this did not overrule green belt policies,
and did not breach their human rights.
Mobile home at
Caravan at GB fish farm refused – In 1996 permission
was granted for the temporary siting of a caravan at a
Caravan storage at Greater
Mobile home at Herts stables refused - The Inspector upheld an enforcement order
for the removal of an unauthorside mobile home at hunting kennels, saying there
was no need for anyone to live permanently on site. It was not an essential
small-scale facility for outdoor sport, and harmed the openness of the
countryside. The appellant had argued that it assisted in maintaining a rural
activity - fox-hunting - and reduce the risk of preditors. E Herts DC, 18 Nov
Caravan did not breach planning control - Not in the GB, but of interest. The
Inspector quashed an enforcement oprder alleging a material change of use when
a caravan for human habitation was put on a site in Kent, holding that this was
within a lawful development certificate (LDC). The Council had issued a LDC for
a caravan for leisure & holiday purposes from March to October. Another
caravan was also put on site for all-year use. The Inspector found that the LDC
did not require removal of the caravan between Nov & Feb so there was no
material change of use in that period. The second caravan was not a major
degree of intensification. The LDC did not prevent a second caravan nor the
Summerhouse & mobile home cannot be replaced
by log cabin on banks of
Portakabin at Gloucs Garden centre involved a
building operation - The
Inspector decide that although the portakabin could be moved with a forklift
truck, its size permanence, and degree of physical attachment meant that it was
a building and an operational development had therefore taken place. He upheld
an enforcement order alleging the carrying out of a building operation. The
Town & County Planning Act 1990 S336 defines what constitutes a building.
On planning merits, the cabin reduced the openness of the GB even though it was
screened from many viewpoints, and there was no need for its use as an office.
S Glocs Council 27 Dec 2001.
Caravan refused at Bell Bar, near Hatfield -The Inspector dismissed an appeal to retain a residential caravan at stables in the Herts GB. The siting did not comply with the District Plan which did not include residential caravans as appropriate development in the GB. Although the appellant cited malicious attacks on horses elsewhere in the county, the stables had operated previously without anyone living on the site. Also the stables currently appeared to be operating without planning permission which weighed against the proposal. There were no very special circumstances to justify the loss of openness and encroachment on to the countryside. Welwyn Hatfield Council 14 Nov 2001.
Caravan refused at Hatfield GB stables -The Inspector dismissed an appeal to retain a residential caravan at stables in the GB at the Firs Farm stables, Woodside Lane, Bell Bar, near Hatfield, Herts. The siting did not comply with the District Plan, which did not include residential caravans as appropriate development in the GB. Although the appellant cited malicious attacks on horses elsewhere in the county, the stables had operated previously without anyone living on the site. Also the stables currently appeared to be operating without planning permission which weighed against the proposal. There were no very special circumstances to justify the loss of openness and encroachment on to the countryside. Welwyn Hatfield Council 14 Nov 2001.
Mobile home removed (not in GB) - The High Court upheld an enforcement order to remove a
caravan (& attached porch and conservatory). The unauthorised development
was subject to valid enforcement notices requiring its removal, and convictions
for non-compliance were secured in 1999. The owners argued that the mobile home
was lawful and its removal would breach their human rights. the judge noted the
clear breach of planning regulations and the Court was there to uphold the law.
the protection of the environment was a legitimate aim and there would be no
violation of the owner's human rights.
Static caravan & agricultural buildings accepted in
Selby GB - the Inspector
approved an agricultural storage barn and livestock building and a static
caravan with full costs awarded to the appellant. the new buildings had been
recommended by the officers and would improve the viability of the holding by
increasing livestock numbers. They were appropriate in the GB because they were
reasonably required for agriculture. The temporary caravan was also justified
by clear evidence that the appellant would develop the holding and increase
agricultural activity. Costs were awarded because the Council disregarded the
conclusions of two agricultural consultants and its planning officers that the
caravan was necessary. The appellant's commitment to enter into a legal
agreement to provide a full appraisal should a permanent dwelling be sought
also justified costs. Selby DC 4 April 2001.
Mobile home in Tonbridge GB refused in part due to possible flooding risk - Gypsies were refused permission to retain a mobile home in the Metropolitan GB, in part because of a serious risk of flooding at a site in the Medway floodplain. The Inspector found no very special circumstances to override GB policies, because there was no need for the appellant's son to have his own pitch. The Inspector said that refusal would not violate the appellant's human rights. Tonbridge and Malling Council - 6 Nov 2000 - APP/H2265/A/00/1046498
Caravan to remain in GB due to planning history. - The Inspector upheld an appeal to retain a residential caravan, a touring caravan and greenhouse on Dorset GB land. The Council argued in Court that the Inspector had erroneously taken into account the long history of residential use of the site. They also claimed the Inspector had not properly balanced the harm caused by inappropriate development. the Judge decided otherwise - the period of residential use was relevant. Christchurch Council 8 Nov 2000 - CO/4288/1999