North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

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Object

North East Derbyshire Publication Draft Local Plan (Reg 19)

Policy SS10: North East Derbyshire Green Belt

Representation ID: 7083

Received: 27/03/2018

Respondent: JVN Architecture

Agent: Mrs Linda Trollope

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

In restricting the construction of agricultural buildings in the Green Belt to only farmers whose main income derives from agriculture the plan has not been positively prepared to meet the needs of agriculture (an appropriate activity in the Green Belt), it is unlikely to be effective in maintaining the openness of the Green Belt due to alternative options of obtaining permission for buildings on the land and it is not consistent with national policy which seeks to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belt and allows for agricultural buildings with no restriction on the operator of the agricultural enterprise.

Change suggested by respondent:

The omission of the qualification that agricultural and forestry buildings in the Green Belt will only be acceptable where the main income of the majority of the applicants income is derived from the business.

Full text:

In restricting the construction of agricultural buildings in the Green Belt to only farmers whose main income derives from agriculture the plan has not been positively prepared to meet the needs of agriculture (an appropriate activity in the Green Belt), it is unlikely to be effective in maintaining the openness of the Green Belt due to alternative options of obtaining permission for buildings on the land and it is not consistent with national policy which seeks to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belt and allows for agricultural buildings with no restriction on the operator of the agricultural enterprise.


Representation regarding Policy SS10
This representation seeks to challenge the rider attached to paragraph 2(a) of this policy which only allows for agricultural or forestry buildings "where the development is necessary to support a genuine agricultural or forestry business where the majority of the income is derived from the business".
It is accepted that the requirement for the business to be genuine is reasonable (i.e. not a building that is erected without any intention of carrying out an agricultural business) but the requirement for the majority of the income to be derived from the business is a stricter test than is included in national policy. Paragraph 81 requires local planning authorities to plan positively to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belt. Paragraph 89 of the NPPF allows for buildings for agriculture and forestry as not being inappropriate in the Green Belt and this is repeated in paragraph 144 (a) of the Consultation Draft of the new NPPF. The government's promotion of agricultural activities is also emphasised by the expansion of agricultural permitted development rights set out in the amendment to the GPDO which comes into effect on 6th April 2018.
Agricultural land is generally not of a good quality in this district with the majority of the land being either Grade 3 (Good to moderate) or Grade 4 (Poor) in the Agricultural Land Classification published by Natural England. Grade 4 in particular is more suited for growing grass and stock rearing rather than arable production. In view of this poor quality, farming tends not to be a highly profitable occupation and many farmers require additional employment which may well provide a larger income than farming. In addition many people who own agricultural land may wish to make some use of it rather than letting it become derelict. In either case often buildings are required to store crops/machinery etc. or to house animals. In many cases such buildings can be constructed under agricultural permitted development rights when issues such as the income from the holding/other employment is not an issue. The imposition of the restriction on the proportion of income coming from the business will be unduly onerous on farmers struggling to make a living income in the Green Belt.
The imposition of this policy in the Green Belt only, also appears to favour non-Green Belt areas for agricultural production.
It must also be noted that there is no such restriction on income generation for other buildings in the Green Belt such as stables. If agriculture is hampered by the lack of a building a landowner may well rent /sell land for keeping horses. This is likely to generate a demand for building stables which can have as great an impact on the openness of the Green Belt as agricultural buildings.
In conclusion the plan has not been positively prepared to meet the needs of agriculture (an appropriate activity in the Green Belt), it is unlikely to be effective in maintaining the openness of the Green Belt due to alternative options of obtaining permission for buildings on the land and it is not consistent with national policy which seeks to enhance the beneficial use of the Green Belt and allows for agricultural buildings with no restriction on the operator of the agricultural enterprise.

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