TPP Appeal Success and Costs Award - Agricultural to Residential Conversion
We are pleased to have been successful in appealing a ‘Class Q’ permitted development procedure for agricultural buildings in Coughton, Warwickshire.
The buildings are a fine example of traditional brick and tiled barns surrounded by open countryside in the Green Belt. Access to the buildings was via a simple unmade track which although a public right of way had been poorly maintained. The buildings had been subject to a previous permission for a holiday let which had been granted some time ago by Stratford-on-Avon DC.
We advised the client that the ‘Prior Approval’ procedures for changes of use of agricultural buildings to residential (Class Q) would be available to the barns, following their introduction in 2013.
The first Class Q submission was refused by the Council as officers felt the circumstances of the provisions of Class Q did not apply and the subsequent appeal was dismissed as the Inspector felt the location of the buildings were impractical and undesirable due to the state of repair of the access way.
Following improvements to the access track, our second Class Q addressed in full the concerns previously raised. The Council, however, again refused the prior approval Class Q citing new reasons not previously raised, concerning the proximity of a ford in the vicinity to the access track and the availability of utility services to serve the proposed dwellings.
We appealed the decision of the Council and the second appeal was successful. The Inspector fully accepted our arguments that the improvement of the access track made the buildings accessible and the proximity of the ford did not pose problems in respect of future occupiers being able to access the proposed conversions. A partial award of appeal costs has been made as the Inspector found the Council had acted unreasonably by introducing and not subsequently defending its refusal reasons.