September song

Oh, it’s a long, long time

from May to December,

but the days grow short

when you reach September.

Ol’ Blue Eyes’ song about autumn years, poignant though it is, is sadly lacking in insight into the planning definition of a season. Luckily, an inspector dealing with an appeal against the refusal of a certificate of lawfulness for a proposed mobile home at a farm in Essex has been able to contribute (DCS Number 400-012-662).

The inspector recorded that Schedule 2, Part 5, Class A of the GPDO allows for the use as a caravan site of agricultural land for the accommodation during a particular season of a person or persons employed in farming operations on land in the same occupation. The dispute between the parties centred on whether the proposed use would be for a particular season.

The appellant explained that the caravan would be occupied for two seasons in each year for the breeding and rearing of chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese for the table. One period would be from October to late December and the other would be from January to late March or April, to meet increased customer demand at Christmas and Easter. The inspector considered, however, that the six to seven months proposed was more than ‘a particular season’ as a matter of fact and degree. Rather, it was two seasons and the length of the combined continuous period was not sufficiently temporary to be properly regarded as a seasonal use.

The council’s decision to refuse a certificate of lawfulness was upheld.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 9.312

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