MKA Planning are specialists in rural planning and have continued their success with this recent appeal success. This appeal decision is to some extent a ‘test case’ for farm expansions and has established a number of principles, namely:-
Paragraph 6 of the PAC decision clearly indicates that the Planning Authority must defend their decision on planning grounds alone and not introduce environmental health legislation, policy and guidance which is not relevant.
Paragraph 10 of the PAC decision indicates that the Council applied the wrong policy test requiring the Appellant to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the proposal would not harm the amenity of neighbours.
Policy CTY12 is generally permissive of agricultural development and the Appellant needed only to demonstrate in evidential terms that on the balance of probabilities that the proposal would be unlikely to result in detrimental impact on neighbours amenity.
Paragraph 11 of the PAC decision indicates that the proposal cannot be considered from a point of “zero” impact but must be compared with existing long established operations and amenity impacts from the farm holding and from the existing poor quality buildings to be replaced.
The Commissioner made it clear that the noise and odour reports were properly carried out and that they were only required to measure the potential impacts from the appeal proposal compared to the emissions from the existing buildings to be replaced. The noise and odour reports did not have to measure the impacts from the overall farm holding which is already lawful.
The PAC concluded that it is not reasonable or acceptable to examine operations or buildings unconnected with the actual proposal and that there was no evidence that the proposed new building would be likely to increase noise levels or odours emanating from other parts of the holding.
If you currently have a rural planning issue or would like to appeal a decision please feel free to contact Matt or one of the MKA Team for advice at 028 71311551.