Pegasus Group were appointed to provide planning services relating to the diversification of Nettlebed, an existing business located on an agricultural unit. It was previously permitted for one of existing agricultural buildings on the site to be used for the production of cheese as a creamery, and due to the success of the business the client wanted to expand the on-site operations to include the sale of cheese from the building.
An application for a Certificate of Lawfulness was submitted to the Council for the proposal which included the use of the creamery for the on-site sale of cheese, and the erection of an extension to an existing canopy and the installation of a sales hatch to the existing building. Pegasus Group successfully argued, citing relevant case law, that the use of part of the building for the sale of cheese was ancillary to the primary use of the building as a creamery due to use being reliant on the creamery in order to exist. The Council therefore accepted that this was within the realms of the existing agricultural use of the site.
However, as operational development, the extension to the canopy and the installation of the sales hatch required separate justification to the use. It needed to be argued that the works were ‘reasonably necessary’ for the purposes of agriculture within the agricultural unit. As such the case needed to be made that these works were required in relation to the agricultural use of the site and that such works were ‘reasonably necessary’ for this purpose.
The Council’s Planning Officers were initially reluctant to accept this argument, and on initial assessment stated that the works required planning permission. However Pegasus Group argued that, once the Council accepted that the sale of cheese was ancillary to the agricultural use of the site, it followed on that the canopy and sales hatch were ‘reasonably necessary’ as it would not be safe or practical for sales to take place from within the building.
Following some negotiation, the Officers accepted the argument that works were ‘reasonably necessary’ and as such were lawful. As such, the Council accepted that planning permission was not required for the proposals and a Certificate of Lawful Development was issued in August 2019.