The use of a field, paddock or other agricultural land for domestic purposes (such as additional garden land for your home) requires planning permission as it constitutes a material change of use, as set out in section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. If you change the use of land without planning permission, you are likely to face Enforcement Action from your local Council.
Whether you are likely to receive planning permission depends largely upon the impact that the paraphernalia associated with domestic use (sheds, washing lines, etc) will have upon the countryside and the wider landscape character and how well the area proposed to change use relates to the existing settlement.
We recently achieved planning permission for the retrospective change of use to domestic garden in North Dorset. Our team conducted a visual impact assessment to demonstrate that the proposal would appear as a natural rounding off of the settlement, and due to the general topography of the area and lack of Public Rights of Way in the vicinity, it would not be visible in the wider landscape. We further examined historic aerial photos to show that the change had occurred c.10 years ago, so it was arguably lawful. The Case Officer agreed with our assessment, granting planning permission within the standard 8 week determination deadline.
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