Posts Categorized: Something to make you smile

Back in the real world

The following snippet from an appeal against the refusal of outline permission for a bungalow in rural Hampshire brought a wry smile (DCS Number 400-011-996). The inspector recorded that at the time when the appeal was submitted there was no dispute between the parties that the proposal would require a contribution towards affordable housing in accordance with the requirements of saved core strategy policies. However, the PPG had since been amended to state that contributions should not be sought from developments of 10 units or less, or 5 in designated rural areas, which included the case before her. She continued:

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Glastonbury – the fun stops here

We make no claim to be down with the kids here on the Blog but we are aware of the doleful refrain that it is now only the middle-aged and middle class who can afford tickets for the Glastonbury Festival. That being the case, those of a conservative outlook on their way to the festival next week will no doubt be nodding their approbation of a recent appeal decision concerning a mural which has been painted on the gable end of a listed building in the town (DCS Number 400-011-784).

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Ready for takeoff

The runway expansion contest between Heathrow and Gatwick pales into insignificance beside what a Cambridgeshire planning authority has been dealing with recently. An inspector has quashed an enforcement notice which required the use of a garden shed at a house as a flight simulator facility to cease, deciding that no material change of use had occurred (DCS Number 200-005-093).

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One for Pseuds Corner

Private Eye would love this – permission has been denied at appeal for a ‘non-existent’ extension to a listed farmhouse in Oxfordshire (DCS Number 400-011-045).  

The extension would be a low slung single storey flat roof structure and would infill a gap between the farmhouse and the existing structures of a barn, granary and dairy. The structure would measure some 17m long and would have a modern design utilising glass, corten steel and ashlar stone. The inspector noted ‘the design principles and aim of creating an ‘ephemeral’ and non-existent building’. However, he decided that the construction of the structure in the middle of the open space would have an adverse effect on the coherence as a whole of the historic farmstead and would not enhance the current plan form and context of the farm.

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Evette the farm horse earns her pension

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.

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Did the earth move for you?

Objectors to the retention of a 15m high wind turbine on a Staffordshire farm were concerned that vibrations from the turbine would disturb the breeding of brown hares (DCS Number 400-010-313). The inspector recorded, however, that a report produced by Keele University on the likely impact of ground-borne vibrations from turbines concluded that the level of vibrations from wind turbines is so small that only the most sophisticated instrumentation can reveal their presence and they are almost impossible to detect. He acknowledged that animals have heightened senses but found nothing to suggest that a single wind turbine of the scale erected would have a material impact on the breeding pattern of the brown hare. He therefore concluded that the turbine did not present an unacceptable risk to local biodiversity.

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Here’s a bit of fun

An inspector has allowed the placing of life-sized sculptures of a cow, a bull and a calf on a roundabout on the A39 (DCS Number 400-008-305). The sculptures were designed to draw attention to the land-based studies courses available at the local college but the highway authority was concerned that they would prove a distraction to motorists. The inspector decided, however, that the bovine family would not be out of context in its rural setting and would not prejudice road safety.

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