Green Belt appeal decisions
including garden centres, animal facilities and similar
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.
Car boot sales refused in Derby GB. It was proposed to hold 40 sales
a year, well in excess of the 14 days permitted under General Permitted
Development Order 1995. Farm diversity
was insufficient reason to allow these sales on a remote site requiring
car-borne shoppers made it unsustainable.
Barn allowed in Herts GB.
The barn would be sited 24m from other farm buildings which were adjacent
to a Grade 11 listed farmhouse. In
between would be a concrete apron for vehicles to move. A second scheme was refused which would have
sited the barn only 8m from the other barns with the apron on the other side of
the barn making the vehicles highly visible. The setting of the farmhouse was
Car boot site refused in
Polytunnels need planning permission. The High Court gave this ruling. Hall Hunter Partnership, owners of Tuesley Farm, near Godalming, Surrey in the Met Green Belt. In December 2005 a Planning Inspector ruled that these tunnels were ‘development’ requiring planning permission. The appellant argued it was an agricultural use of the land and therefore a permitted use, and that it was not a permanent building. The Court upheld the Inspector’s decision.
Retrospective approval given to agricultural
worker’s dwelling in Bucks GB. The Inspector ruled
that the site’s planning history and the owner’s human rights
outweighed the GB policies. Permission
was granted in 1995 for a dwelling at the pig farm subject to details on
materials etc being agreed before development began. These matters had not been agreed before work
began in 1996 and completed in 2003.
Details had been submitted but there had been no response to them. Negotiations had been held with the
appellant’s agent about landscaping but then an enforcement order was
issued. The Inspector ruled the development was therefore unlawful, and the
delay by the council did not prevent it taking enforcement action. If the
notice was upheld the dwelling would have to be demolished. The appellant was entitled to assume the
dwelling was lawful in view of the negotiations and the enforcement order
‘came out of the blue’.
Tractor store refused in Lancs GB. The steel-framed building
was used to store vehicles including vintage tractors which were shown at
shows. The appellant argued that they
were agricultural vehicles so the store was an agricultural building, in accord
with GB policies. He said there was a
need to preserve early tractors and it was difficult to find suitable premises.
The Inspector decided they were used as a hobby, not for agriculture. A council inspector noted in 2004 it stored
classic cars, with tractors added a year later.
Manufacturing allowed in Bucks GB agricultural
building. Manufacturing steel
products in this building did not harm highway safety according to the
Inspector. A former pig farm had been
divided into 3 areas. This workshop was
used 4 days a week with 2 operatives.
The council was concerned about the poor quality access along a narrow
unlit road and issued an enforcement order.
The Inspector decided the use did not conflict with GB policies and
there had previously been heavy traffic on this lane when it was a farm. Permission was granted personal to the
appellant. And his company to provide some control over the activity.
Bucks GB agric workers dwelling retained. The site history and
Human Rights outweighed the harm to the GB.
Permission was granted in 1995 for a detached dwelling at a pig farm
subject to conditions on materials etc.
Work started in 1996 and was completed in 2002 but without prior
approval of the reserved matters. They
had been submitted but without response until 2003. The Inspector decided the development was
unlawful and that enforcement action was not prevented.. However the long delay was a very special
circumstance and, if the enforcement action was upheld the house would have to
be demolished. The fact that the council
was willing to discuss landscaping supported the appellant’s assumption
of the house being lawful. The
enforcement notice was a bolt from the blue was unreasonable. Although the original need for the house had
gone, it could still be used for general needs of farm workers in the
Residential and leisure scheme refused in
Greater Manchester GB.
The 3.25 ha site at a farm was used for an equine business. The main building – Grade 11* listed
– was in poor condition. It would
be restored to form two houses, with 25 terraced houses built to fund
restoration. A replacement equine centre
would have 50 stables, a menage and a manager’s house. The Sos agreed the 25 houses would the
minimum to secure funding but would extend the urban area into the
countryside. This would be compounded
buy the equine centre which tipped the balance against development.
Cheshire GB barn rebuild refused. In 2001 permission
was given to convert the barn but most of it collapsed in 2004.
Animal feed production allowed in
Plant nursery allowed in
Barn in Bucks GB not within Permitted Dev.
Rights. On a 9ha agricultural
holding a barn had been erected measuring 15m by 24m with a7m ridge height. It had a steel frame, low walls of concrete
panels topped with green plastic-coated steel cladding. It had a stark industrial appearance, the
Inspector said, and was completely out of character with the area. Deemed planning permission had been granted for
a different barn under permitted dev. Rights relating to agricultural
land. Peacock v SoS for Environment 1995 held that there was no
presumption in favour of a proposal simply because an alternative form might
have been permitted.
Motor home sales at Met GB garden centre
refused. The site was well
served by various means of transport and this development would reduce the car
park, consistent with
Barn changes not necessary in Northumberland
GB. Permission had been
given to convert former agricultural buildings into 5 homes and a farmhouse
annexe, with demolition of the appeal building and two others. Instead an additional floor had been inserted
and new window and door openings plus wood cladding on what had been three open
sides. The appellant argued this made
the building more attractive to tenant farmers allowing greater flexibility,
but the Inspector disagreed. No
agricultural appraisal had been made to prove the case.
Agricultural occupancy condition lifted. Not in the GB but of
interest. This condition was lifted from
a dwelling in Hampshire after the Inspector agreed it was no longer justified,
with costs awarded against the council.
The house was built in 1995 and was in separate ownership from the farm. There was now no longer any chance of the
agricultural use being re-established and a marketing exercise had been carried
out. The council thought the 30%
discount because of the condition was insufficient and 50% was more
appropriate. The appellant argued the
30% discount was normal and the council produced no evidence to substantiate
the higher figure.
Holiday chalets approved in Kent GB. A former hop farm had
been expanded into a visitor centre in the 1980s. The proposed 64 holiday-let chalets and
manager’s accommodation was inappropriate but would provide a valuable
income stream helping to maintain the listed buildings on site. It would not detract from the countryside
character and contribute to the local economy.
These were sufficient VSCs.
Farm building re-use allowed in Berks GB. The use as offices
and an equestrian enterprise were unrelated to farming but a genuine attempt to
diversify in accordance with
Free-range egg farm refused in Bucks GB. Located next to the
Chilterns AONB, the units would not enhance the landscape and would be
detrimental to the GB’s openness and visual amenity. The Inspector dismissed residents concerns
about smell, vermin, toxic waste and flies since other legislation covered
these aspects. She also dismissed concerns about bird flu.
Pig farm refused at Tyne & Wear GB. Potential odour would undermine the amenity
of neighbours even though the proposed building housing up to 100 pigs was
100/150m from the nearest properties.
Permission was also refused to retain a caravan on site even though it
was alleged to replace a previous structure.
The Inspector said it was materially larger and in a different part of
the site. She also had doubts on the
need for a resident worker, and there was insufficient evidence of the
financial viability of the business.
17m replacement chimney allowed at W Mids GB
farm. Despite the genuine
fears and distrust expressed by 100s of local objectors, the chimney was
allowed. It would replace a 15m high
chimney at a thermal oxidiser used to render animal by-products into animal
feed. It complied with
Farm building refused at religious site in Herts
GB. Part of the estate of
a large country house was used by the International Society of Krishna
Consciousness as a theologian college and religious community. The 30,000+ visitors a year to the existing
buildings saw how the cows were kept and cared for. The new 3,800 m2 building was required to
house the expanded herd in winter, milking and storage. The Inspector ruled this was far in excess of
the accepted need for 3,000m2 additional space , and include walkways, passages
and covered accommodation. Its bulk,
scale and mass would cause substantial harm to the character of the
countryside. The VSC did not override
Barn conversion allowed in Lancs GB. Major or complete
reconstruction was not necessary to convert the barn to residential use. The former farm had permission for housing
through conversion, change of use, alteration, extension and demolition of
various parts of other buildings. The only dispute was whether the barn was of
permanent and substantial construction and convertible without major
reconstruction. The appellant thought
about 25% of the external walls would need reconstruction, well within the
accepted 33% guide figure for barn conversions.
The council thought the figure would be significantly more.but the inspector
thought it would be no more than 30%.
Residential home change to agricultural workers
flats refused in Lancs GB. The change of use
would harm the residential amenity due to noise and disturbance. A nearby horticultural business employed
foreign workers on short term contracts of 3 to 8 months. The shift system meant 2 coaches picking up
workers at 6.30am then at least twice more before 7.30am. The noise of engines, doors closing, people
talking, etc would be unreasonable The inspector dismissed neighbours fears of
this transient population in a stable community as groundless anxiety.
Landscaping contractor’s depot harmed
Herts GB. After 24 years of
cattle and sheep farming, this use ceased 12 years ago. The appellant recently started using the land
for a tree nursery and intended to build a storage building in connection with
a landscaping business for his son. No
very special circumstances were claimed.
The inspector decided it would reduce the openness and the buildings,
vehicles and plant was harmful to the character of the rural area.
Free-range egg farm allowed in Notts GB. It would not harm the
living conditions of neighbours and the mobile home was justified. Agricultural
smells were normal in the countryside and, given the separation distance from
houses and the cleaning regime, the odour would not have a material
impact. The unit was sited to reduce
noise and there would be no male birds.
The on-site residential person was necessary for security, emergencies,
deliveries and collections and day-to-day operations. The existing use was a well-established
Agricultural worker’s bungalow refused in
Cattle-rearing building allowed in Staffs GB. The 85ha holding was mainly pasture used for beef cattle. About 48has had been sold off to a sand and gravel company, including the farmhouse and many of the agricultural buildings. The council claimed there were modern buildings on the site capable of conversion, so there was no need for this new one 62m by 37m with a 6m high roof. Agreeing that it was a large building the inspector held it was agricultural and related to the land use. Although the shortage of space was caused by the appellants action, there was still a need and therefore complied with GB policy. DCs 100039048. 4.11.05
Wormery approved in Surrey GB. The appellant had
built 8 worm beds about 50m by 5m each surrounded by a plastic enclosure about
30cm high and covered by polythene sheeting.
The inspector decided it was similar to polytunnels and looked like some
form of agricultural operation. It did
not harm the openness of the area and the limited visual impact and
quasi-agricultural activity made it appropriate in the green belt.
Wording fault in
Horse breeding is not agriculture. At a Kent Met Green
Belt site a stable block had been built together with tack rooms, storage rooms
and three large containers. An
Enforcement Order was served and appealed against. The Inspector ruled that the containers were
not a building operation so they did not require planning permission and could
be retained. However Belmont v Minister of Housing 1962 found
that breeding and keeping horses other than for farming was not agricultural
use. Also the stable block etc size,
mass and bulk reduced openness of the GB.
Although dismissal might cause hardship to the appellant it did not
outweigh the harm to the GB.
Chilterns polytunnel refused. The polytunnel was to
provide winter accommodation for young ostriches at a Chilterns farm, but was
refused as not reasonably required for agricultural purposes. The appellant claimed it would be better than
the existing building since it would give better light, ventilation and
space. The Inspector noted that some
buildings were used for horses and storage, and there was scope in existing
buildings to increase space for ostriches.
The existing buildings had been adequate for rearing ostriches successfully
for a sustained period. The new tunnel
was not necessary and was inappropriate.
Agricultural restriction removed at
Microlight runway would harm
S Yorks GB nursery refused a house. The various
activities on the 7ha site justified at least one full-time worker but not one
living on site, despite evidence of fish theft.
Unauthorised dormers created a new building in
Kent GB. In 1999 permission
was granted for a bungalow tying occupancy to a worker at an adjoining
nursery. Three dormers were added
creating an extra 5.2 sq.m. floor space.
An EO required demolition. In Sparkes v SoSE & another 2000 it was
held that a building constructed otherwise than in complete accordance with
planning permission was unlawful and could be enforced against. The Inspector decided the council was correct
in treating it a s a new dwelling rather than simply an amendment to the 1999
permission. The dormers accentuated the
appearance as a two-storey building increasing its bulk and appearance. The building was unoccupied so nobody would
be made homeless. Demolition was
proportionate to the harm caused.
Notts GB ex-mushroom farm approved for housing. The development would fund asbestos removal from the appellant’s farm buildings. The Inspector accepted the buildings were in poor condition and a trespassing problem, and the asbestos was a risk to all entering the buildings including the fire brigade who were often called to incidents on the land. But these were not sufficiently special circumstances. It went to Court where the judge ruled that the Inspector failed to give adequate reasons for refusal. The Inspector had accepted the risk and there was no other obvious means of funding the asbestos removal. It was not clear if refusal was a consequence of risk removal or the effects of dwellings on the GB, so the Inspector’s decision was quashed. Dowmunt-Iwaszklewicz v Ist SoS and another. 10 Nov 2004. Ref CIO/1445/2004.
Cambs GB nursery refused due to lack of business
plan. The appellant claimed
the tropical plant nursery on 0.75ha would be similar to one in Malta and
require someone living on-site. However relatively
little financial information was provided and the appellant had little
knowledge of the type of business of of the Malta business. The Inspector had
severe misgivings about the business’s chance of success and refused
Essex GB fishing lakes approved. They would not harm
the Gb, the natural environment or living conditions of neighbours nor affect
the performance of flood attenuation measures.
A storage building for a boat and maintenance equipment were also
approved. As not exsessive in relation to their function and provide an essential
facility. The building and car park
would be within an substantial area of planting. Adequate provision had been made to retain
wildlife interest on the site. Use was limited to daylight hours.
Livestock welfare justifies Met GB agricultural
dwelling. At the first appeal
the Inspector ruled that there was no functional need for a worker to live on
the site. A second Inspector ruled that
he was not bound by that first decision.
A more up-to-date appraisal showed that the birds needed inspection
every two hours, and faiulure of the water supply could kill the birds within
hours. The business had been properly planned so he granted a 3-year temporary
Conversion of agricultural buildings to holiday
homes refused in Cheshire GB.
No substantial evidence was produced to show that a particular
agricultural had been in mind for work already carried out on the
buildings. The appellant claimed it was
a agricultural permitted development under section2 of GPDOm1995 but the
Inspector disagreed. It was not
permitted development and the building had been altered to encourage the works
to take place. Apart from the steel
frame, little else would remain. In
effect it was the erection of a new building.
Offices refused at North Yorks GB pig farm. The emerging local
plan identifies it as a major developed site.
This plan initially said the 3 ha site will be suitable for
redevelopment provided there is no greater impact on the openness of the GB. Subsequently the poor access except by car
caused the site to be deleted as a
Generator building refused in Bristol GB. The appellant claimed it
was allowed under GPDR part 6 schedule 2 of GPDO 1995. The Inspector decided the land was a hobby
farm because no animals were kept and only occasional hay cropping took place. The building appeared more like a domestic
outbuilding and it had not been designed for agricultural purposes. A further claim that it was permitted under
class G part 17 was disallowed because it was erected by an individual and not
a statutory undertaker for the generation, transmission or supply of
Barn in Essex GB unnecessary. The appellant argued
that it was permitted under GPDR part 6 schedule for an agricultural building
on a holding greater that 5ha. The
Inspector upheld the enforcement order since no prior notification was given by
the appellant under the GPDR procedure, and the holding was less than 5ha so
GPDR did not apply. He said the case was
finely balanced but the barn was used to store tractors and a mower used for
cropping hay with another barn used to store the hay. Therefore this barn was not used for
agriculture and was inappropriate, with no very special circumstances.
Essex GB Trailer adverts refused. MacDonalds had two
directional adverts on trailers parked on the open countryside, one adjacent to
the M11 motorway, and the other alongside an A road. They read ‘Tiredness kills – take
a break’. The Inspector decided
they were harmful to the openness of the GB due to their location, size, and
bright colours, and likely to distract motorists.
Shed and horse shelter in Bristol GB
refused. The shed and horse
shelters were built in the last four years and the Inspector upheld enforcement notices against
them. However other
enforcement notices were immune due to the passage of time relating to the
material change of use of farmland to keeping horses.
Hen-house in Notts GB harmful to openness. At 78m long, 20m wide
and 5.2m high the proposed hen-house at a farm
would appear somewhat isolated and its impact increased by a large hard
standing and feed bins.
Worm breeding is not agriculture. Enforcement action
was upheld to stop this activity on a special landscape area in the Manchester
GB. Worm beds were laid out in a field
used for sheep grazing. The beds were
raised about 30cm and consisted of low wooden posts and rails with white plastic
sheeting covering manure and woodchip mix.
The worms wrre used for angling and composting green waste. The Inspector concluded worms are not covered
by the ;’livestock’ definition and were not produced as human food
or for use in farming the land. This
activity was not ancillary to the agricultural use of the land, falling within
TCPA 1990 section 55 as a development.
The raised plastic-covered beds gave a developed appearance rather than
agricultural use. They were visible for
some distance. This diversity did not
constitute a very special circumstance to justify approval.
Trailer advert refused – A hoarding on the
back of a trailer parked in the West Yorkshire GB was out of keeping with its
setting. The site was in a field
immediately adjoining the entrance to a farm and outdoor centre. The appellant argued
Fishery and Christmas Tree store allowed in W Mids
GB – Located in an area where Christmas trees were grown
and 7 pools were used by up to 172 anglers, a single storey building was used
for toilets, office, shop, storage etc.
The Inspector decided that
Dorset GB animal rescue buildings refused
– Located in the grounds of a house were several
aviaries, a chicken house, sheds used for an animal rescue and release scheme,
plus an occupied touring caravan.
Planning permission had been given six years ago for a red squirrel
breeding unit. The valuable work did not
constitute a very special circumstance, and approval would lead to a request
for a permanent caravan for security reasons.
GB garden centre pergolas refused - 2m high pergolas supported an irrigation
system had been built at a Surrey GB garden centre. The Inspector upheld an
enforcement order, deciding that evidence was weak for the need for this type
of irrigation, as was the need for shelter and shade for plants. It reduced the
opneness and there was no very special circumstance.
Abattoir extension approved
- The Inspector agreed
that an abattoir did not have enough space to accommodate animals awaiting
slaughter. The business had changed from processing sheep instead of pigs and
cattle, and regualtions required a larger space to allow recovery after the
journey there. This was a very special circumstance in GB terms, so the
Inspector allowed the necessary extension. Warwick DC 27 April 2001.
Topsoil business allowed in GB - The SoS approved an extension to an
approved topsoil and turfing business for the drying, bagging, and storage of
topsoil and loam at a farm in the GB. he rejected other appeals against
enforcement notices relating to the construction of a building and hardstanding
areas associated with the business. The Inspector said approcal of the
application would reduce the operational area by concentrating the main
activities within the existing site. It would allow hedgerows to be planted,
operational bunds to be erected reducing the visual and aural impact etc. This
would give greater control, and the SoS accepted this improvement on the
fallback position of unregulated use. Tandridge DC 18 April 2001.
Lay-by flower seller banned in GB - The owner of a transit van lost his appeal to be allowed to continue selling flowers and plants on the highway verge in Derbyshire. It would extend a non-rural use into the countryside, thereby detracting from the GB, outweighin any benefits of local employment & the rural economy. Ref APP/R1010/A/00/1043794. Hearing on 27 September 2000.
Lack of agricultural justification for building - The appellant said that a partially completed building 18m by 12m, on the 20ha site in Cheshire (Macclesfield), was to be used as an egg-packing and grading station based on a flock of 4,000 birds. The local authority said it looked like a dwelling and had been erected for an ulterior motive not related to agriculture. The Inspector noted that the building had not been erected as an egg-packing station, nor had it been referred to as such in the pre-inquiry statement of case. The appellants business plan was very generalised and the building was very much bigger than required for egg-packing. The appellant proposed a condition for removal of the building within one year if business had not commenced, but the Inspector said this was unenforceable
The appellant proposed to use a tin shed to store agricultural equipment. The Council said it was poorly designed for agriculture and was not needed. The Inspector agreed, noting that the building was started in 1988 and took 10 years to complete. The appeal was lost due to its impact on the GB. Date 26 Sept 2000. Ref APP/C0630/C/00/1038320;Inquiry.
Temporary housing not allowed for Yorkshire GB
quail-rearing business – In two similar cases it
was decided that to be defined as agricultural activity, the animals must be
bred for direct or indirect contribution to the human food chain. In this case the quails were to be food for
falcons and other birds of prey, although there was a possibility of a future
mixed use supplying food for humans. The
appellant wanted temporary accommodation in case the heating or feeding systems
failed, which could kill the quails and ruin the business. The Inspector decided the evidence did not
show the business had been planned on a sound financial basis, justifying
Essex GB airfield immune from enforcement action – The site contained a
dwelling house and was used for managing a beef herd. In the 1980’s a runway was created for
an aircraft used for flying a display advert.
An enforcement notice was issued in 1999 against aircraft movements and
storage on site. On appeal the Inspector
ruled that the whole planning unit was the house and airfield and its use had
not changed materially in the last ten years so it was immune from this
enforcement. The Court of Appeal case
also reconsidered a previous enforcement decision regarding enlargement of the
hangar where the Inspector held that the hangar was not within the cartilage of
the house, and even if it were storage of a plane was not a normal activity
connected with a house, so there were no very special circumstances. This was overturned.
Sheffield GB pigsty rebuild for housing allowed
– Planning permission had been given to change the use
of farm buildings to form 4 dwellings.
However the sty was demolished and a similar sized building
erected. Enforcement action was taken
but the appellants argued they had a legitimate expectation of this falling
within the terms of the permission.
Notification of the start of work was not submitted until after the sty
was demolished. The Inspector ruled that
the ‘demolish and rebuild’ decision by the developer did not fetter
the council’s ability to take enforcement action, but he granted
permission since the council had authorised conversion of the pigsty of similar
Cheshire GB farm building conversion to housing
refused – The conversion included the rebuilding of a
timber lean-to, plus other extensions.
The Inspector noted that the lean-to was not substantial and could not
have a long-term life. The extent of
rebuilding and extensions was inappropriate in the GB. Also light from the houses would spill onto
adjacent fields harming the appearance and character of the rural area.
Caravan storage at Greater Manchester GB farm
refused - it was not
justified as agricultural diversity, the Inspector ruled. The appellant's
pig-breeding business had collapsed so he wanted to diversify into storage of
caravans, in line with
Scaffolding business refused in Gloucs GB - The retention of this business at a farm
was out of character and harmful to the openness of the GB. It was not an
acceptable diversification, and the number of staff cars and equipment stored
on site was out of scale with the agricultural nature of the farm and rural
Bucks GB garden centre extension refused - Chiltern DC issued an enforcement order to stop agricultural land being used to store and display goods relating to a garden centre. The appellant claimed that the Inspector had taken no account of the previous development at the site nor the very special circumstances put forward. Also compliance with the order could be acheived by restricting the height of the stored goods. In the High Court the judge rejected these claims, concluding that the openness would be harmed. Hildreth China & Glass Ltd v 1st SoS and another. 10 March 2003. ref CO/4949/2002.
GB Cattle building refused - The Insapector upheld an enforcement order
for the removal of a Lancashire GB cattle building because of its unacceptable
impact on adjoining residents, within 50m of it. The local authority it was
only necessary if a viable farming enterprise had already been established, but
the Inspector disagreed. He noted Hill v SoSEnv & London Borough of Bromley
1992 which defined agricultur under S336 TCPA 1990, saying that it should not
be confused with 'agricultural land' in permitted development regulations. GPDO
1995 required previous commercial activity, but S336 allowed future intention.
He accepted that the building was used for agriculture and was appropriate in
the GB, but the smells harmed the living conditions of nearby residents. On his
site visit many calves appeared to be sick and 2 were dead on the floor in the
building. March 2003.
GB abattoir allowed - In Scotland a state of the art abattoir
and 6,500 msq meat packing plant has been approved in the GB north-west of
Edinburgh. It will be the first in the UK. All waste will be stored and then
burnt to produce heat and power. It was necessary to relocate an abattoir at
Linlithgow and the site was partly dictated by the need to retain existing
staff, and to provide grazing before slaughter for the animals to reduce
stress. The local authority opposed the plan on GB policy and the harm to the
landscape. the Reporter (Scottish for Inspector) felt that the search for
alternative sites had not been exhaustive but there was a special case of
retaining the workforce.
Worcs GB equestrian hospital approved - modern farm buildings can be converted
into an equestrian hospital. The Inspector decided it would not harm the openness
of the GB. It was compatible with GB policy but permission did limit the hours
of use. The LA was concerned that, combined with other existing and approved
uses of the farm, it might affect highway safety and the GB.
Stable use restrictions are valid - A Cheshire GB farm received planning
permission in 1999 for a stable block, restricting use for keeping &
breeding horses. The appellant said the condition was not sufficiently precise
to to clear and enforceable. The condition said it could not be used for
agriculture including keeping livestock, was for the private enjoyment of the
owners and not for trade or business, with horse breeding only by people living
in nearby dwellings. The Inspector decided this was clear and enorceable, and
prevented any reversion to agricultural use. He did permit an alteration
allowing up to 20 mares and 4 permanent liveries, but not a riding school or
Microlight airstrip allowed - A Shropshire GB field can be used
permanently for this use, with 2 landing strips and 9 hangars. The latter
poly-tunnels were not small but housed planes with a 10m windspan, so they were
not larger than necessary. Take-offs were restricted to 25 a day, and planes
had to be below 450kg.
House too expensive for agricultural worker - A 1969 approval restricted use of a house
in the Surrey GB to argicultural workers. The house remained unsold after 8
months despite a 25% reduction in price. Attempts to sell it did not mention
the restriction. Valued at £2.25m with the restriction, the Inspector agreed
that it was too expensive for agricultural workers, so he lifted the
Horticultural trade supplies storage OK in GB
barn - Located in
the Met GB, two barns had a change of use approved, restricted to equipment for
the arboricultural and landscaping contractor's business. However one barn was
used to store horticultural trade supplies. Planning permission was refused
being detrimental to the openness of the GB due to increased activity, noise
and disturbance. The Inspector noted that the building contained shop sundries
such as pens, sticky tape, etc, but
Herts barn conversion to B+B allowed - A Herts farmer wished to convert an
under-used barn to bed & breakfast accommodation. The Council alleged it
did not involve farm diversification but was focused on supporting an already
successful farm. The Inspector ruled that the conversion did not require major
work so it was an appropriate development in the green belt. He said government
policy did not limit agricultural diversification to support of a declining
enterprise. He allowed the appeal which would not harm the openness of the
Chilterns area of outstanding natural beauty. Three Rivers DC 30 May 2002.
Agricultural occupancy condition did not apply - Not in green belt, but of interest. A
1986 outline permission included this occupancy condition and requiring
improvements to the site access before development began, which were reinforced
in the reserved matters approval. The appellant said failure to comply with
these 'conditions precedent' meant the dwelling was not authorised by the
planning permission so there was no restriction on occupancy. There were two
1992 cases where it was held that development carried out in breach of
conditions was not authorised by the planning permission. The Inspector agreed
and decided that since the dwelling had been built in 1990 and used as a
dwelling for 4+ years, no enforcement action could be taken. Torridge DC 30
Farm lake would be incongruous - An unauthorised kidney shaped lake, 94m
by 74m, had been built at a 27ha farm in the Guidford green belt in an area of
outstanding natural beauty and with great landscaping value. the Inspector
ruled that it was an alien and artificial feature having a considerable visual
impact on the area. An attempt to justify it on agricultural grounds were held
to be flimsy and highly speculative. The farm contained no animals and no
viable agricultural enterprise was in progress. The appeal was dismissed.
Guiodford BC 18 April 2002.
Refusal to reuse of farm buildings for business
purposes - Appeal
dismissed because suitable safeguards could not be provided to ensure the
openness of the green belt was maintained.The four units, varying from 1,140
sqm to 1,500 sqm, were made of brown corrugated sheets on breeze block plinth
walls. If approved it would require parking for 100 cars on a concrete surface.
The Inspector agreed that
Aircraft activity at farm forbidden - Thurrock BC issued two enforcement notices
alleging a matreial change of use from agriculture to storage and flying
aircraft, and an unauthorised hangar at a farm in the Essex green Belt. The
Court of appeal upheld a High Court decision upholding these notices. The
Inspector had held that 10 years use had been established and there were very
special circumstances for retaining the hangar. The High Court disagreed,
saying that the Inspector failed to give proper reasons for the decision.
Appeal to the House of Lords was refused. Thurrocks BC v SoS
Cattery refused, charcoal burning allowed - The redundant poultry farm is in historic
woodland, parts of which were designated sites of special scientific interest.
The former poultry business was not viable. The propsed forestry activities and
associated accommodation were appropriate in the green belt, justifying the
temporary accommodation on a trial basis. A cattery did not need a rural
location and was inappropriate, reducing the openness of the green belt.
Although there were positive aspects of diversification, there was no financial
appraisal of either propsal to prove the need for the propsed scale of
diversification. East Herts DC 14 Feb 2002
Agricultural dwelling restriction upheld - Not in the Green Belt but of interest.
Planning permission was granted in 1961 for two dwellings restricting their
occupation to agricultural workers. The Inspector refused to grant a lawful
development certificate (LDC) to allow occupation by someone not employed in
agriculture. Permission was granted in 1979 to convert them into one dwelling
and the owner claimed this created a new planning unit without the restriction.
The Inspector said the conversion did not require planning permission so the
original condition remained in force. Horsham DC 8 Feb 2002.
Corporate hospitality at Green Belt farm refused
The owner of a Surrey Green Belt
farm intended using it for corporate hospitality on 28 days a years and for
grazing and training horses the rest of the year. The argument was that it was
a temporary use permitted under the General Permitted Development Order 1995.
The Inspector noted that the hardstandings were permanent, making it a
permanent if intermittent change. This was inappropriate, as was the propsed
horse paddock for private recreational use. It harmed the Surrey Hills area of
outstanding natural beauty, Guildford BC 7 Nov 2001.
Lairage at abattoir allowed
A small cattle slaughtering business had become a huge concern exporting over 500,000 sheep carcases a year. A lairage (an animal resting area) had been built without permission. The Inspector dismissed an enforcement order because the impact on the green belt was slight, and it was needed for the animal's welfare. Warwick DC took the case to Court but the judge ruled that the Inspector's decision was not irrational. Any increase in traffic due to the increased lairage was offset by the specialisation in sheep instead of 3 animal types. Warwick DC v SoSETR 3 Oct 2001. Ref CO/2269/2001.
Existing greenhouses and sheds not classified as a 'brownfield site'
The SoS refused 10 houses on a horticultural
nursery in Staffs Green belt. The local council supported it arguing that it
would increase the openness of the area and the housing would be visually less
intrusive that the existing glasshouses and timber sheds. The Inspector ruled
housing as inappropriate in contrast with the existing agricultural use.
Although the site adjoined development on 3 sides, it safeguarded land on the
other boundary from encroachment. The glass in the greenhouses mitigated their
bulk, and the proposed houses would be 50% taller. This agricultural use did
not classify the land as 'previously developed' so it was not a brownfield
site. S Staffs DC 11 July 2001.
Hardstandings on Green Belt farm refused
Two enforcement orders were issued requiring removal of two hardstandings, connected to a track on a Herts. farm. The farmer argued they were used as bases for feeding sheep and the track prevented waterlogging. An Inspector dismissed an appeal saying they were not permitted development and harmed the openness of the Green Belt. The farmer won a High Court ruiling quashing this decision, but the Secretary of State then won a Court of Appeal decsion in favour of the enforcement orders. The Court of Appeal said a lot of material had been imported onto the site, including rubble, and the areas were not needed for agriculture. Taylor v DETR 31 July 2001 ref C/2000/3687
Static caravan & agricultural buildings accepted in green belt
the IOnspector approved an agricultiural
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. The were appropriate in the green belt because they were reasonably
required for agriculture. The temporary caravan was alos justified by clear
evidence that the appellant would develop the olding 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 sougyt also justified costs.
Selby DC 4 April 2001.
Steel frame building necessary for agricultural purposes in green belt.
Wychavon Council refused a 372sq m. structure on a farm for the fattening of 80 beef cattle. They said that the owner had failed to demonstrate an agricultural need in the green belt. Allowing the scheme would make it difficult to resist similar applications which would progressively harm the openness of the green belt. the inspector decided that he had no reason to doubt that the proposed building was reasonably required for agricultural purposes, and was not inherently harmful.
Green Belt building to house cows during winter ruled necessary for farm operation.
A proposal for a building on green belt land for a livestock farm to house cows during the winter has been ruled as necessary for agricultural purposes. It would help the operation of the farm by addressing the severe problems of cattle churning up the g rass with their hooves when the ground is soft. - Chiltern District Council.