Some practice points

In granting permission for a crematorium in a Lakeland area of outstanding natural beauty (DCS Number 200-004-572) an inspector referred to the requirements of the Cremation Act 1902. This Act advises that sites should be at least 200 yards from any dwelling unless the owner, lessee or occupier has given their consent in writing, and at least 50 yards from a public highway. He reasoned that whilst this would not necessarily preclude urban sites there would seem to be support for the contention that crematoria should be situated within rural locations and in all likelihood within the open countryside.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 26.135

In dismissing  an agricultural building for the storage of agricultural plant and machinery in Somerset (DCS Number 200-004-574) an inspector judged that the use of the site would be more akin to an agricultural contractor’s storage depot. She held that such a use does not fall within the definition of agriculture as set out in section 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The council drew attention to an appeal decision (DCS Number 400-004-955), where the inspector was of the same opinion and to ‘Development Control Practice’ which provides at paragraph 21.1153 that “It is sometimes argued that agricultural contracting uses are ancillary to agricultural use, but this would only be the case if such a use was limited to the needs of the farming unit itself.” With no evidence to the contrary the inspector saw no reason to disagree with these approaches, which added further weight to her view.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 21.1

An LDC was issued for a mobile home in Devon after the council mistook the period required to establish immunity from enforcement (DCS Number 400-010-297). The council considered that because the caravan had been unoccupied since June 2014, the appellants had failed to demonstrate a continuous period of occupation in excess of 10 years. The inspector pointed out, however, that the council’s approach appeared to have been to look at the 10 years immediately preceding the date of the application for the LDC, rather than the 10 years beginning with the date of breach required by S.171B(3) of the Act. She noted that the date on which the breach began could be established as 26 February 2003 so that by 27 February 2013 the use of the land for the siting of a caravan for residential use had become lawful due to the passing of 10 years. She explained that there is no specific requirement (as there was under the old Established Use Certificate regime) that a use must be subsisting at the date of an application for an LDC. Once a use has become lawful, it can be regarded as having continued for planning purposes even though it might have become inactive on the ground, provided only that it has not been abandoned, or superseded by a different use or new chapter in the planning history of the site.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.535

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