The owners of a barn in south Devon have their retired farm horse to thank for prior approval for its conversion to residential use (DCS Number 400-010-860).
The council argued that on the relevant date, 20 March 2013, the barn was used to house a horse and therefore the site was not used solely for an agricultural use. Rather, it was in equine use, or at best a mixture of agricultural and equine uses. The appellants, on the other hand, explained that Evette is an Ardennes draught horse. She was used as a working horse on the farm, and she grazed the land, with any winter feed being hay which was made on the holding. While she retired in 2010, she continues to live in that way, roaming freely on the land for her own welfare, with the choice of using shelter when she wishes. The inspector recorded that it is generally accepted that grazing horses on land in such a manner is an agricultural, not an equine, use. On that basis, he determined that the proposal accorded with the requirements of Part 3, Class Q of the 2015 GPDO, and represented permitted development.
The uplift in the value of the barn ought to ensure that Evette is kept in carrots and mints as she lives out her days in the meadows.
The following DCP chapter is relevant: 4.3423