September 16 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Thursday, April 10, 2014
A couple failed in their bid to have an agricultural occupancy restriction lifted on their bungalow – despite neither of them having worked in farming for 26 years.
Andrew and Linda Behagg have been refused permission to have the condition lifted – which could affect its price should they wish to sell- by Fenland District Council.
The council has told them that they have provided insufficient evidence to show their bungalow had been marketed with its agricultural restriction and had failed to conclusively prove the absence of any farming activity for the past 10 years.
“Were this evidence available, the most appropriate approach would be via an application for a lawful development certificate for an existing use,” suggested the council in their reasons for refusing the application.
Geoff Brinton of Maxey Grounds, the Behaggs agent, told the council that the couple’s home at 138 London Road had been built in 1978/79 by Mrs Behagg’s father, Ray, a former Fenland, Chatteris and Cambridgeshire councillor, who lived near door.
Mr Brinton said Mrs Behagg had at one time looked after the cattle herd owned by her father but following poor harvests in the early 80s, the entire herd was sold in 1984 to meet banking commitments.
He said Mr Behagg later went to work with a large manufacturing business and since 1988 neither had worked in either farming or forestry – the conditions attached to the original planning applications.
“In the circumstances and given the time scales we would respectfully ask that serious consideration be given to lift the agricultural restriction,” said Mr Brinton.
Despite winning support from the town council, planning officers said neither Mr nor Mrs Behagg had addressed the “shortfalls” in their application.
“The applicants have failed to provide further supporting information within the time frame,” said a report by the council’s development team.