Class Q Appeal Success on grounds of sustainability

A prior approval application for the change of use of an agricultural building to a house was refused on the grounds that the siting and location of the building would not be desirable or practicable. However, Bloomfields has succeeded in proving that the development of residential uses in locations which would not ordinarily be contemplated by the Council was not an adequate ground to object to a prior approval application. The Planning Inspectorate accepted our submission that this planning judgment should be reached against the backdrop of the purpose for creating this class in the first place, and the bar in relation to the test of unacceptable inaccessibility will necessarily be set significantly higher than it would in the context of an application for planning permission.

In allowing the appeal, the Inspector had regard to the Council’s argument about the separation from the local community. However, it was concluded that the Class Q right does not apply a test in relation to the sustainability of location, recognising that many agricultural buildings will not be in village settlements.