Beds in Cow Sheds

What a racket part Q is.

What a confused messy pile of turd fatally mixing policy subjective judgement with maters of fact and law.  The DCLG having got a taste of swimming in this with shops now intends to drown the countryside in the slurry.

AFA Planning Consultants state on their website

One high-end converted Dutch barn was recently on the market for nearly £2 million.

But after the Hibbitt judgement we all are now clear., as was obvious to anyone with a knowledge of the history of caselaw on agricultural conversions from the outset, that you cant knock almost all of a building down and ‘convert’ it at the same time hence dutch barns and similar (enclosed on three sides) ‘conversions’ are not PD.

I had a case this week where an LPA had issued a prior determination on a ‘conversion’ pre Hibbert and now the applicant wanted to exercise the power under class Q to make minor variations.  Would accepting the variations on a case that was never PD in the first place be ultra vires.

Rural authorities are now flooded with silly part Q cases at the moment determining them on the basis of frankly, irrelevant national planning guidance in the structural stability of barns, internal structural elements are not development and this is not a material consideration.  Besides in order to meet building regs on energy conservation have can you avoid new structural elements, insulate a steal roof and avoid a ‘barn’ (flimsy tin shed) collapsing under its own weight?

What makes thing worse at the end of the day PD is supposed to provide certainty about what is PD and what is not.  Part Q is meaningless.  The six suitability criteria includes the open ended

location or siting

Pretty much any case

‘design or external appearance”

Every case

So pretty much every case just like a planning application.

So even the NFU now claiming its useless as it rarely applies.

Already 218 appeals

All it is is a fee exemption for farmers which costs them far more in the cost of paying planning consultants and barristers.

Oh and it mandates tiny gardens no bigger than the cowshed footprints – why?  Domestication is an issue but why not 200% otherwise you get 4m deep gardens.  How many country cottages have 4m deep gardens?

Take this highly praised from Glocsm better than 99,9% of schemes coming forward

Post Hibbard this would need PP.  But lets say before applying for part q the farmer put up the same interior  walls without windows.  Not development? Interior? The NPPG would be irreverent as it would be the existing pre-pd situation.  The ‘not the intention’ clause would not apply and the Hibbert test would be met, as no longer a rebuild but a conversion.   Of course the issue is where the ‘interior’ wall begins and where it doesn’t is highly arguable. How would the original building be different from a building with  a front canopy?

Its all a mess, exacerbated by confusing and out of date national guidance.  Time to clear up the cowpats





6 thoughts on “Beds in Cow Sheds

  1. No such thing as “pre- Hibbitt” (not “Hibbert/Hibbard”) and “post-Hibbitt”. It’s always been clear that “flimsy Dutch barns” almost invariably won’t qualify under Part Q(b). See, for example, Martin Goodall’s planning law blog for an expert commentary on the subject.

      • This will be a topic within CPRE. Will do some research.

        Some of my friends are farmers – and have a different perspective:
        Farms under 50 hectares could all but disappear from the English countryside by the middle of the century, according to our new report. Almost a third of England’s smaller farms have disappeared between 2005 and 2015, along with the diversity in food and landscape they provide. We’re calling on the Government to make sure that post-Brexit farm funding supports farms of all sizes, so they can continue to sustain rural communities and protect distinctive local character.

      • Hi thats an important but different question. Giving development breaks to farmers always tends to favour the big farmers over the small ones . In any event the GPDO is a hopelessly inefficient way to subsidize good practice mixed and small farming. With no overwintering sheds, no sheds for labouring etc. All we will have is oil seed rape and no farm based small businesses. Good topic for CPRE research.

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