Approval at Appeal has been granted for the erection of an agricultural building at a garden nursery in Cheshire. The building, measuring 50m x 18m (900m2), was submitted as an ‘agricultural notification’ application.
Sometimes referred to as ‘28 Day Notices’, applications of this type are assessed under Part 6 Class A of the Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order (GPDO).
This provision allows for agricultural development on units of 5 hectares (12.3 acres) or more and covers buildings up to 1,000m2.
Various criteria apply and there are different rules for holdings under 5 hectares (12.3 acres).
On receipt of an application of this type the Local Planning Authority (LPA) has 28 days to notify the Applicant as to whether their ‘Prior Approval’ of the application is required or not.
They will consider the application and look at matters such as siting, design and external appearance. If Prior Approval is not required, the Applicant will be notified and the development can lawfully commence.If Prior Approval is required, further details will need to be provided.
Agricultural development within Class A (agricultural development on units of 5 hectares or more) under Part 6 (Agricultural and Forestry) of the GPDO is described as:-
Siting, Design and External Appearance
In this case the LPA refused the application in relation to insufficient information having been provided to demonstrate the need for the building (given its size and location) for the horticultural business. Concerns were also raised regarding historical Class Q approvals at the site.
Class Q allows for the conversion of an agricultural building to a residential dwelling under permitted development rights.
Permitted Development Rights
If a holding has already benefitted from and exercised its Class Q Permitted Developments Rights, rights to erect an agricultural building under permitted development provisions are thereafter affected, and vice versa, for ten years. Effectively the use of one right then nullifies the opportunity for the other.
On this holding, although the site had secured two Class Q Approvals, one was later superseded by a Full Planning Application (permission granted and the dwelling is in the process of being built), and the other was never ‘activated’ i.e. the development was never ‘carried out’, and the applicant had no intention of doing so.
The decision by the Local Planning Authority was Appealed.
The Planning Inspector concluded that the Class Q history at the site should not compromise the application for the agricultural building under permitted development rights. He was also satisfied the building was reasonably necessary for the established and extensive horticultural business and that its size and location was acceptable and appropriate. The Appeal was therefore ‘allowed’.
Our client is now able to commence development and erect the building with a view to it being ready for the busy 2022 summer season.