NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Silo needs planning permission  (Read 149 times)


  • Joined Dec 2018
Silo needs planning permission
« on: October 04, 2019, 05:39:50 pm » seems like a long time since I last checked in... but I've been very busy!

I purchased a small piece of land... just under an acre.... it has always been a dream of mine to create a small nature reserve, and now I'm retired, I've finally got an opportunity to do just that. I'm already having some success and since I created a wide ditch and filled it with water, I now have water voles on the land... also adders, grass snakes, bats and a barn owl visits very regularly, too.

So far, so good... the land is designated as previously developed land (PDL) but is on on the greenbelt. It used to be part of the massive farm which surrounds me on all sides.

The plot was purchased by a water company 100 years ago & a deep well was dug to supply water to the local community. A steam powered pump was housed in a large building initially, and then in 1947, this changed to an electric pump, and the old pumping station was demolished and replaced by a much smaller building.

The land has remained uncultivated during this time and is mostly wildflowers and grasses... not much else will grow, as the soil is very thin and it seems the rubble and cast iron from the old, demolished pumping station is buried just a few inches under the surface.... The land has changed hands quite a few times now, with various applications being refused each time.

The current small building has been redundant for about 30 years and has just been used for storage purposes. It has been vandalised occasionally, and there's frequent flytipping here as well.

The previous owner was granted planning permission for a change of use to B1, so it would be possible to use it as an office, although I heard that recent changes to planning rules now allow for B1 to be changed into residential use, without the need for a planning application.

My idea was to try and get permission for a live/work art studio, because as well as my love of wildlife, I also like to paint.
But the pump house is tiny, so I bought an old grain silo which I placed on the land to use for the storage of gardening tools, etc., plus there's a mezzanine for larger artwork installations....

However, I now know that there is an Article 4 directive in place which prevents any (PD) permitted development.

I should have applied for permission before installing the silo & have now been contacted by local planning enforcement officers because of the 'unauthorised development' and have been told I will probably have to pull it down, which will make everything else unviable as there just won't be enough space for storage... Although they did invite me to make a retrospective planning application, they also said it would be a formality & that I'd have no hope of keeping it... so I'm just wondering if it will be worth the time and money.

What's really 'interesting' is that a nearby landowner (a few hundred metres away, as the crow flies) in an identical situation to me has been granted PP to build a pair of semi detached cottages on a plot which is not only on the green belt, but also, being closer to the river, is in a coastal flood zone. I note the developer has paid a donation to the council to 'mitigate any environmental damage caused by his development'... whatever that means. But I don't have a huge amount of savings, and will find it difficult to even find the money for the basic planning application.

I was just wondering if anyone else on here has been successful in overturning an Art. 4 Directive, or whether this is likely to be expensive and pointless ...?

Great to be back... and thanks to anyone who might be able to advise.

Dookie x
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Silo needs planning permission
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2019, 09:47:32 pm »
@Dookie, a bit complicated for me to offer any useful advice, but all sounds most interesting and a really great project.  Hope someone can help and that it can work out for you.


  • Joined Dec 2018
Re: Silo needs planning permission
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2019, 06:44:02 pm »
Many thanks... why can't things be simpler...? The silo looks fine... it's not a carbuncle... many farmers have a couple of silos just for storing bits and pieces... but I'm not a farmer and it's no longer argricultural land...


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