'Moveable' cabin must go, Planning Inspectorate rules
A CABIN in the Culm Valley countryside designed so it can be easily moved will be demolished following a failed appeal.
The Planning Inspectorate has upheld Mid Devon District Council's decision to take enforcement action against the structure at Cabra Farm, in Craddock, near Cullompton.
Temporary permission for three years was given for the cabin at the smallholding in 2008 but the planning authority stated last year that it could not justify extending this consent.
Inspector David Brier said: "In essence, the appeal is based on the premise that there is no building and so there is no breach of planning control.
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"The appellant contends that the structure, which he describes as a 'temporary movable cabin', is a mobile home that falls within the definition of a caravan for planning purposes.
"The submission that the structure is placed on block work pillars from which it can be removed has not been challenged. The appellant indicates that the structure was in two sections to facilitate its delivery, but it seems at odds with the council's photographs, which show only a timber framework and a roof, together with a good deal of loose timber.
"In my view the evidence is insufficiently clear to demonstrate that the structure in question falls within the definition of a caravan."
An enforcement notice was served by planning officers in December last year to order that the land was returned to its lawful use of agriculture, and not mixed with habitation.
In a report drawn up by the council, it states the appellant has sold off in excess of eight acres of agricultural land since February 2008, reducing the size of the small enterprise and making it less viable as an agricultural enterprise.
Further land has also been sold off and farming activities are only in their infancy, having been set up in spring 2011.
The council said: "The numbers of livestock have either stayed static or have reduced in number.
"In February 2008, the inspector was of the view that there would be a functional need (to live on site) once the enterprise was in its fully operational form.
"Given the enterprise has not fully developed as envisaged at the appeal, and no specific details are provided as to how the applicant will seek to develop the enterprise over the next three years, the planning authority consider that the limited amount of livestock fails to demonstrates a functional need."