Do I need a CLEUD? (planning unit question)

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Do I need a CLEUD? (planning unit question)

Postby bk240 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:39 pm

Hello and thank you for letting me join your site. I would really appreciate help as I am finding the planning process incredibly stressful. Advance apologies for the very lengthly explanation, I hope it helps to make my questions clear.

My grandparents live in a house set well back from the road, in 13 acres of land. The third furthest from the road is steep woodland, but the two thirds around the house are contained within a deer proof fence and consist of some mown lawn, some wooded areas planted with spring bulbs, a newly planted orchard and a few acres of rough grass heathland/meadow area. This has a large rhododendron bush/tree, three mature eucalyptus trees, paths mown around it, garden benches and a swing. It is all continuous, no fencing or hedging dividing up the land.

I put in a householder application for a stable/shed to be built very close to my grandparents house - I felt within curtilage but due to the position in relation to the house, I knew it wasn't permitted development.
I was told that, after assessing OS map and aerial photography, the site was not considered curtilage. I contemplated contesting this, but in the end decided not to.

So I applied for Full planning - only to be told I also needed to pay and apply for change of use too. It seems the grounds surrounding the house are considered agricultural. The grounds are large and not your conventional ‘garden’ but I hope we can argue they exist 'for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the unit of occupation’. As far as we are concerned they have always (50yrs+) been used as 'garden' and have certainly never been used for any kind of (commercial or personal) agriculture. The rough grass is sometimes allowed to grow wild, with only the paths being mown and the areas around trees strimmed, though some years my grandfather has had it completely mown with a ride-on (for practising golf!).

I have emailed the LA and told them the grounds have been used as garden for more than 10 years, and hence the site for our application comes within a single residential planning unit. They have replied to agree it is being used as garden now, but that they don't believe I will be able to prove 10 years use.

I have been told by the LA that I now have three options:

Apply for a CLEUD and then, if successful, apply for householders (NB I think they're wrong about this and I will need to apply for full planning as householders is for projects within the curtilage - and I know changing the planning unit won't change our ‘curtilage’)
Apply for planning for a shed/stable on agricultural land, plus change of use to 'keeping of horses’
Apply for full planning and change of use of the site to residential.

My questions are:

Do you think the grounds/gardens will satisfy Burdle’s planning unit definitions (ie given it’s not all your classic mown lawn - and in fact some areas are currently pretty wild and overgrown). I presume the legal definition of garden is broader that the OED definition?
Is paying for a CLEUD application (and all the evidence etc we'd have to put together for that) the only way to get the LA to recognise a change in planning unit has occurred?
(Similar q to 2) Is a CLEUD application definitely necessary before our planning application (I have read something on this site that seemed to imply maybe not)?
If I opt for the LAs option 2 - aren't they now going to just send an enforcement notice since I've 'confessed’, in writing no less(!), that we are using the 'agricultural’ land as garden?! Whoops.

My head is spinning with all of this. The property is well off the beaten track, as well as being under a lot of tree cover and everyone said just to build and not bother with planning - but, more fool me, I wanted to do things properly!

Any help & advice would be very very gratefully received.

PS (I realise I should have paid for an initial informal advice visit from the LA before submitting anything. But I honestly thought the PP would just be a formality. )
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Re: Do I need a CLEUD? (planning unit question)

Postby bk240 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:50 pm

I've been reading all sorts around this topic - this has enabled me to clarify my question:

Is the question of the extent of a planning unit legally separate to the fact a material change of use (of the land, agricultural to domestic) has occured?

The LA say a CLEUD is the only way to enable them to recognise the larger planning unit. But is the planning unit based solely on the current situation (ie currently no functional or physical separation from the unit of occupation, all the land was purchased together originally and the house built in 1920s) , or does this need to be proved >10 yrs, as for material change of use from agricultural to residential C3?

I am aware that even if the planning unit disagreement could be solved without applying for a CLEUD ,the LA could then choose to enforce against the material change of use and we would then have to apply for a CLEUD anyway).

Would be v interested in your reply.
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Re: Do I need a CLEUD? (planning unit question)

Postby jdfi » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:24 pm

Surely if you want to erect a building for agricultural use (barn/stable/whatever) you are best off acknowledging that parts of the garden are agricultural and then you would clarify for the same entitlement to build an agricultural building without PP as a farmer has?
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