Appeals Decisions (Agenda Item 12)
Appeal decisions in relation to Billingford were included as a Supplementary Report item to Planning Committee on 7th July, 2014.
Appeal A: APP/F2605/C/13/2199946: BILLINGFORD: Land adjoining Billingford Hall, Elmham Road: Appeal by Mr. Todd against enforcement notice in respect of a single storey general purpose agricultural building: The requirements of the notice are to (i) remove the building from the land and (ii) remove all associated building materials, rubble and spoil arising from the construction and removal of the building. The time period for compliance is 3 calendar months.
Decision: The appeal does not succeed. The enforcement notice is varied to extend period for compliance to 9 months and upheld.
Summary: In respect of ground c: The Inspector concluded that the structure which exists is not the "prior notification" building. There is no express planning permission for the building nor does it amount to permitted development. There has been a breach of planning control and the appeal should not succeed on ground c of the Town and Country Planning Act.
In respect of ground a and the deemed planning application (the building as a whole) and Appeal B (the extensions): The Inspector concluded that the extent of existing agricultural activity on the holding is very limited. Whilst planned agricultural activities are relevant, the extent of those activities is not markedly different to those put forward for the smaller "prior notification" building. No business plan or agricultural assessment has been submitted. The balance of evidence does not support the appellant's contention that the building as a whole, or the lean to elements in Appeal B, are reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture.
In respect of the effect on the character and appearance of the area, the Inspector gives limited weight to the visual impact of the building. However the Inspector concludes that the addition of a building of this scale, character and appearance results in material harm to the character of the river valley.
The Inspector did not consider that planning permission should be granted for that part of the appeal building which would be equivalent to the "prior notification " building (which would amount to the appeal building minus the lean-to elements on the side and end elevations). This would nevertheless be materially harmful to the area's character. The balance of evidence does not suggest that such a building would be reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture.
In respect of ground f Appeal A: The appellant contends that the requirements of the enforcement notice should be varied to allow the prior notification element of the building to remain. The Inspector concluded that the building is not permitted development. There is no fall back position to erect an agricultural building of the same size as the "prior notification " building to comply with permitted development rights as it is not considered that the building would be reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture. The requirements of the notice do not exceed what is necessary to remedy the breach of planning control. The appeal should not succeed on ground f.
Appeal B: APP/F2605/A/13/2199672: BILLINGFORD: Land adjoining Billingford Hall, Elmham Road: Appeal by Mr. Todd against refusal of planning permission for an extension to an agricultural general purpose building
Decision: The appeal does not succeed.
Summary: See above
Appeal C: APP/F2605/A/12/2205936: BILLINGFORD: Land adjoining Billingford Hall, Elmham Road: Appeal by Mr. Todd against the refusal of planning permission for a visitor centre and camping pods: Appeal C
Decision: The appeal does not succeed.
Summary: The Inspector concluded that, having regard to the advice of the Environment Agency and Natural England, the development would not have a significant effect on the River Wensum SAC/SSSI or on protected species.
The Inspector concluded that, in relation to the need for the visitor facilities and accommodation, the balance of evidence suggests the need for some on-site visitor facilities, which would go some way to meeting the requirements of Policy DC8 and be consistent with promoting rural enterprise. However, concerns were raised in respect of the suitability of the former gravel workings for sailing and canoeing. No substantive evidence of likely demand for holiday breaks is provided and no firm evidence from schools or other organisations of the likely extent of their use.
In respect of the effect on the character and appearance of the area, the Inspector concluded that the extent of development proposed would be materially harmful to the predominantly open character of the site and its surroundings. It would conflict with the high level of protection for river valleys envisaged in Policy CP11.
Costs application by Mr. Todd for full award of costs against Breckland in connection with an appeal against an enforcement notice and refusals of planning permissions (as above).
Decision: The application fails and no award of costs is made
Summary: The Inspector concluded that there was no unreasonable behaviour by the Council. It is not unusual for a number of amendments to be made to a scheme. It is not unusual for different planning officers to deal with an application particularly where there is a lengthy period between submission and determination. While officers may discuss a scheme and suggest amendments, they are entitled to give their professional opinion on the basis that it is not binding on a Council. Whilst the appellant had made reference to inconsistent advice from officers, no evidence was provided.
Costs application by Breckland Council for a full award of costs against Mr. Todd in connection with an appeal against the refusal of planning permission and appeals concerning an agricultural building (as above)
Decision: The application succeeds to a limited extent. A partial award of costs is made.
Summary: The Inspector concluded that the appellant's unreasonable behaviour did lead to an element of unnecessary expense in addressing matters of foul and surface drainage and pollution prevention in the appeal process.
All these appeal decisions will be a material planning consideration when the Council comes to consider related, although somewhat different, development proposals on this Planning Committee Agenda. In particular they raise issues around scale, form and impact of buildings and other operational development; coupled with concerns around the lack of substantive evidence to support the nature and scale of the range of uses proposed. All these matters will be addressed when the planning application is presented to the Planning Committee on 7 July.
APP/F2605/A/14/2216623: SWAFFHAM: Evergreen Farm, South Pickenham Road: Appeal by Mr. Easey against the refusal of planning permission for the erection of a mobile home for a stock man: Reference 3PL/2013/1165/F
Decision: Appeal dismissed
Summary: The Inspector concluded that given there is continuous staffing of the unit and some stockmen live on site, there is not an essential functional need on animal welfare grounds. Suitable alternative accommodation is available in the area. No evidence was found of impact on protected species and no contribution towards open space was needed.
APP/F2605/A/14/2216485: BRIDGHAM: Land adj. Hall Farm Barn, The Street: Appeal by Mr. Wright against the refusal of planning permission for the erection of 2 cottages|: Reference: 3PL/2013/0637/F
Decision: Appeal dismissed
Summary: The Inspector concluded that, given its siting remote from local facilities and the infrequency of the bus service, the proposal would not be consistent with Paragraph 7 of the NPPF in terms of sustainable development. Whilst the Framework makes provision for housing where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of rural communities, the proposal cannot be justified on this basis. The proposal would unacceptably harm the character and appearance of the area. .The limited benefit of the scheme in support of local facilities and community activities did not outweigh the harm identified.