The Enforcement Notice subject of this appeal related to the erection of a building at a Farm located in the Green Belt in Somerset. The Appellant claimed the building was to be used for the storage of hay, agricultural equipment and livestock.

During the site visit the Inspector appointed to determine the appeal noted the design was “not typically agricultural in nature” as it was rendered, painted and had double glazed UPVA framed windows.

The Health and Safety Executive raised concerns that the hay would not be stored in a typical well ventilated location. Although the building was weather tight it had poor ventilation and further concerns were raised that it would also be stored with petrol driven farm equipment.

The appellant argued that the site previously consisted of dilapidated farm buildings but historic aerial images supplied by the Local Planning Authority proved there was no evidence of this.

The Inspector was not confident that the building was erected for agricultural purposes and therefore could not benefit from the exception for agricultural buildings in the Green Belt as specified in the National Planning Policy Framework.

He therefore concluded the buildings position and “residential appearance” would harm the openness of the Green Belt and on that basis he dismissed the appeal and upheld the enforcement notice. The Inspector also concluded that demolition of the building and reinstatement of the land are all relatively small-scale operations and therefore the nine months timeframe specified in the notice was adequate.

21 January 2019