Council refuses use of agricultural land to extend garden

Haddenham land row

Home owner at Haddenham will appeal a decision by planners to refuse permission for this shed - and other works - on land he owns but outside the footprint of the garden. - Credit: ECDC

A homeowner was refused permission by East Cambridgeshire District Council to change use of land in his ownership to be retained as garden space. 

The applicant had submitted a retrospective planning application for his home in Aldreth Road, Haddenham, which included retention of a storage shed, pool wall and plant building. 

Planning officers say they “do not consider that the amount of land to be included in the change of use to be modest. 

“It is the equivalent of 4.8 building plots when considering that the council’s design guide states that building plots should be 300sqm.” 

The report says: “The section of land is close to the public highway and such a change of use would result in the visible and unjustified incursion of domestic land into the countryside and siting of incidental paraphernalia that such a use carries with it.” 

“Encroachment into the countryside resulting in visual harm has already taken place due to the erection of a garden shed and pathway to access it, a 1.8 high metre wall around the swimming pool, a plant building, air source heat pump enclosure and vehicular hardstanding.” 

The 1.8-metre-high wall and plant building “are considered to be visually intrusive”. 

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Their report adds; “It is considered that the proposed change of use is unacceptable in principle and would detrimentally affect the character and appearance of the open field that forms an open green space, framing the domestic curtilage which would be lost.  

“The provision of domestic structures already at the site exacerbates the visual harm by encroaching into land considered to be in the countryside.”  

The applicant, through his agent, had “strongly asserted” that the change of use was in keeping with the “context of the site and the surrounding pattern of development”.  

The agent says that the applicant “was not aware of what the land surrounding his property could be used for”.  

The applicants reasoning for this was that it was evident upon purchase that the land had been maintained and used for many years by the previous owners for no other use than extended garden space ancillary to the previously demolished property. 

“A timber storage shed has been constructed on the northeast boundary of the land.  

“And a pool plant building with a 1.8m high brick pool wall has also been built on land outside the curtilage of the property.... all of which the applicant seeks permission to retain”.  

The applicant says he will appeal.