Between ourselves, part of the fun of this job is in reading about the inventive and sometimes hilarious schemes people dream up to circumvent planning legislation. Here’s one you’ll like.
This case (DCS Number 400-015-641) involves an appeal against an enforcement notice requiring the removal of a goat shelter built on skids from agricultural land in Devon. The appellant contended that the shelter was a mobile field shelter that contravened no planning legislation. The planning authority, on the other hand, considered that the timber building constituted a building operation and was development within the meaning of s55 of the Act, and referred to the tests to establish whether a structure is a building on the basis of its size, permanence and attachment to the land (Barvis Ltd v SSE  and Skerritts of Nottingham Ltd v SSETR ).
In terms of size, the inspector considered that, at 7.2m by 3.6m, with an overhanging corrugated roof, the size of the shelter was not insignificant although it lacked a floor and was not attached to the ground by virtue of it being constructed on skids sitting on top of a bed of railway sleepers.
The appellant indicated that the shelter was currently sited in its original position and that previously it had been moved 6m to one side and 6m to the other side along the track created by the bed of sleepers. The inspector judged that this was a contrivance created solely for the purpose of demonstrating that the shelter could be moved and was very different from the usual type of moveable shelters such as mobile chicken or pig arcs which are moved for the benefit of the livestock and the land. He explained that in the Skerritts case it was held that it is not the fact that a building is capable of being moved, but more of a question of how permanence is construed in terms of significance in the planning context. He reasoned that in this case, the visual and landscape impact would not be materially different whether the shelter was in the middle or at the end of the skids and consequently provided a degree of permanence not normally associated with genuinely mobile field shelters.
The inspector was satisfied that the shelter was of a size and significant degree of permanence to constitute operational development within the meaning of s55 and that planning permission was required.