Planning permission secured for farmhouse in national park

Planning permission secured for farmhouse in national park

Acorn Rural Property Consultants have secured full planning permission for the construction of a farmhouse in the Exmoor National Park.

The events that preceded the application were not typical of those for applications for rural worker dwellings.  Planning permission had been obtained by the previous owner of the property about a decade ago for a 150 square metre farmhouse.  Work started on the development before the site was then sold.  The new owner resumed work on the construction of a dwelling last year only to be told by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) that the structure was not covered by the planning permission as it was in a materially different location from that shown on the approved drawings. Part of it was being built on land outside the original application site.

The LPA required planning permission to be obtained to regularise the building work that had been undertaken and to authorise the work required to complete the development.  However, as many will know, just because planning permission has been granted before doesn’t mean to say it will be granted again.  And for this site, a decade down the line from the original decision, there was a major problem. A new local plan had been adopted and it did not support the size of the dwelling that was being built.

LPAs are, however, required to determine applications in accordance with their development plans unless material considerations indicate otherwise.  A material consideration is a factor that an LPA must consider when determining the outcome of a planning application and, depending on the circumstances, they are capable of outweighing planning policy.

In this case, we demonstrated that, although the dwelling was being built in the wrong place, the original planning permission remained extant. It, therefore, provided a realistic fallback position for the erection of a 150 square metre dwelling at the property.  We argued that that was a significant material consideration that the LPA was required to take into account in the determination of the application. The LPA agreed with our assessment and granted consent.

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