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Author Topic: Dreaded council visit  (Read 7082 times)

Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Dreaded council visit
« on: June 15, 2017, 12:24:00 pm »
Hi I'm Bev I started breeding poultry as a hobby that grew. As it does. Lol
I bought 4.76 acres of green belt agricultural land in 2001 an grazed my miniature mares an foals on it during the summer. In 2007 got a few chuck, that's how it starts isn't it. Got a goat at this time so applied for a CHP number. People often gave me unwanted poultry and as had plenty of room soon grew enough to need a flock number. Declared this as a business in 2007 so tax forms for the pittance it fetch but hey ho has to be done.
Anyway this last week had a visit from the local council. Apparently I cannot graze the minis. Poultry an water fowl are not an agricultural business and the 50 yr old cherry trees are not allowed either.
I've Got to appeal as council want it reverted to green belt agricultural whatever that is.
They said even having a water bucket on the field for the horses is not allowed. I fetch water an have no electric an have unlike so many NO desire to live on the property. I leave the mud muck feather an straw in the car or at the front door. Has anybody else had this problem. Any advice would be most welcome at this stressful time.
Thank you x
Voss Electric Fence

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 03:58:22 pm »
The council is wrong.
Grazing animals is an agricultural operation, and that applies to horses. There are technically, for planning purposes, 6 types of horses - you'll have to look them up as I can't remember them all. But of the 6, grazing horses is most definitely agricultural. If you had livery horses, for example, that would require planning because it's a different business. Also keeping horses on land where they are primarily fed on food that is brought to the field, not produced on the field, is classed as non agricultural. But if all your horses do on the field is eat the grass then that is definitely an agricultural use.
Similarly, keeping animals for production of food, ie poultry, is agricultural. And as for the cherry trees - well words fail me!! If they've been there 50 years there's nothing the council can do about it.
Have they actually given you written notice to "remedy the situation"? It sounds to me like it is only verbal, in which case I would ignore them. I would like to think they would get their facts straight before making it official. For advice, I would go to your local councillor  (NOT council official!) - find out which one is involved in planning and they should be able to help. After all, that's what they're elected for.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

mart6

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Notts / Yorkshire border
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 04:54:58 pm »
landroverroy is right

Who visited you planning or enforcement ?
Some of these council officials amaze me with the un factual/lies they spout out sometimes

Quote
Section 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 defines ‘agriculture' as including:
    ‘horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming;
    the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land);

    the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens or nursery grounds; and
    the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes.’

Give the p___- a copy of this
www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/pb7275meat-chickens-020717.pdf
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 05:14:54 pm by mart6 »

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 05:13:53 pm »
I would ask for everything in writing. No water buckets for your ponies. What rubbish. That would be a welfare issue. Has someone complained?

Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 10:24:03 am »
Yes had a complaint about development, vehicles and caravans.
On the visit from planning office lady, who I have to say was very pleasant, was told that even putting a trough or water bucket on the land is change of use. Poultry sheds-biggest is 8x8 was a permanent structure or building as was not movable with out heavy machinary even though it is stood on slabs an not attached to the land. I was cheeky and said I didn't think an electric screwdriver was heavy machinary but would happily add 2 poles to the sides and 4 handles each corner to make it portable. As with the other smaller coops.
I have a 20x 20 walk in coop an couple of smaller ones that I attach to sheds with batten an tent peg into the ground.
A tool shed which has a lawn mower strimmer  and chainsaw. So she said it was for gardening not agriculture. Have a lamanitic mini who's paddock is cropped short by mower the strimmer keeps edges of boundary to the road clear so livestock does not push against the fencing chainsaw for fallen trees taking off hazardous low branches n putting points on end of fence posts etc.
The horse box is not allowed to be there either as it contain living area and has the porta loo-which take home to empty if really caught short, fridge to make a drink an gas fire to have warm half way though winter day n dry cloths used occasional. It still has the partitions in back an holds my rugs tack etc. Apparently I've changed its use by not having a current mot to storage, so aid if get it plated still not good enough cos its stood on slabs so permanent not movable.
Old van is used for hasadous materials ie fuel can weed killer in front. Chicken bedding feed in the back. Not on slabs but not allowed.
Caravan stripped out an used once chicks are feathered to house till old enough to go ou an hay straw feed during winter.
Nothing I have is agricultural purpose so all has to go incl the new gate post I put in between fields as I dug into the ground an therefore structural engineering! Exsaspered
Where do I find out besides town n planning act to find out my rights? X



landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2017, 10:42:57 am »
So - is the complaint in writing? That is the really essential bit.
Is it an enforcement order, which will give you dates when you have to comply, and how to appeal?
Or is it just a threat of enforcement? This can be argued with - I've had a few of them. Sometimes the council issue them because someone has complained. If you can justify your sheds etc then they can tick the box to say they have investigated and you will hear no more.
Or is it just this planning woman coming round and throwing her weight about?
As I have said, your first possible choice at no cost is to talk to one of your local ELECTED councillors. Look up who represents your area and give them a ring. If you're lucky they might be able to help you. (If you're unlucky they will be clueless!)


Research on the internet - Martin Goodall's planning blog is very informative.
Further support can be obtained by joining the Country Landowners Association - they have free legal advise. As do the NFU - but I think it's the Smallholders section that has the free legals.
Check your household insurance - again sometimes legal cover is included.
Failing that - talk to a planning expert. At @£60/hour it can be money well spent.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2017, 12:31:05 pm »
Have had a letter from the planning re complaint and visit last week. Explained the uses and gave full access to ALL areas. Which was photographed. Have to wait for the letter. So the discussion was verbal and what was said/decided will be received in letter form in next two weeks.
According to the lady that visited I'm not alowed to use it for business purposes. No wonder farmers are so poor as they must work for free. Lol.
Let you know how I get on an have a look at websites you have suggested. Obviously I would wish to appeal so am thankful for any advice or pointers. Most grateful thanks. Bev x

mart6

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Notts / Yorkshire border
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2017, 08:34:01 pm »
Dont be taken in by the friendly approach
Take a read here part got deleted as the site crashed , but it will give you a idea how they work
and some of the total rubbish they tell you

http://www.gardenlaw.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=19952&hilit=definition

Any future conversations inform them you will be recording them at the start of the conversation.
If they visit again ensure you have a witness and a recorder at hand

Photograph shed with time and date then move it and remove slabs and photograph it again.
Then do the same again in another month, do same with the coop.

Anything they have seen and photographed is only a snap shot of that day and does not prove anything.
Wait and see if they issue a enforcement notice if they do get straight back to us, its easy to appeal once you have been through it

Quite a bit of what you have been told is tosh , see what they put in writing
BTW  which council ?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 09:05:14 pm by mart6 »

Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 01:53:05 am »
Thanks chuck. Said I'd have to wait 2 weeks for the enforcement letter. Said I couldn't apply for retrospective planning on 7+8yr old field shelters or a CLEUD?
Apparently my 4.75 acres is too small to run agriculture from?
Anyway will wait for reply. In mean time have read posts you advised an contomplating joining NFU.
Much appreciated xx

Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2017, 02:11:53 am »
North Warwickshire borough council.
Looked up my local councillor an researching different sites and town n country act.
Like you say a lot of which was said was tosh
Have found my original receipts out for sheds and have old digital photos with time/date. In some are the foals so they give a time line as used some of the photos in their passports with their date of birth in so have copies of them too.
Many thanks. Bev x

mart6

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Notts / Yorkshire border
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2017, 07:21:55 pm »
North Warwickshire borough council.
Looked up my local councillor an researching different sites and town n country act.
Like you say a lot of which was said was tosh
Have found my original receipts out for sheds and have old digital photos with time/date. In some are the foals so they give a time line as used some of the photos in their passports with their date of birth in so have copies of them too.
Many thanks. Bev x
Thats great re reciepts
Dont apply for retrospective planning they pulled the apply for planning stunt on me
Far better and cheaper to appeal a enforcement notice and you get a unbiased opinion
Not the crap the planning/enforcement will tell you.

You could show them copies of photos if buildings have been up for years they can not take action against them if you can prove they have been up  long enough.
Your plot can be one acre and still be agricultural.
They will need more than one site visit to prove its not agricultural use.

And the important timeline is how the property is being used on the day the enforcement notice is served
ie if you intensify your use before its is served

Get straight back to us with exact wording of letter when you get it
I had 18 months dealing with one, its not that a big deal once you know the ropes

The planning inspectors are clued up in my experience
Planning officer and enforcement officer said i told them i was living on site, which  was not true
inspector saw straight through them

I have cooker, fridge freezer,microwave,kettle full central heating with radiators ,table chairs ect
Planning inspector said he would not class it as living space without a toilet /shower /bath anyway
All the house hold stuff the council claimed needed removing was exceptable.



Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2017, 03:14:22 pm »
Thanks again chuck. I have moved some of the poultry round to prove they are mobile and have put up 5 8x16x6ft high fences in a row and then fenced one end

In the process of making 8x16 tops of lath and chicken wire. So that can secure a top onto the posts and move the shed 8ft each time and unscrew the "roof" and move over one row like the shed to make them tempory.
Have likewise moved the horse box which is multi purpose. Besides moving stock we use it as a rest room during the long hours we put in. First aid kit for human and animals, feed store and area to check the CCTV cameras as had some thefts (21 ducks) an in 2014 12 turkeys an 8 geese besides silly things like wheelbarrow, tools and even some saplings and fruit bushes ?! Usually at night as I don't live there. However there is a shower in living, never tried and a seated bucket that has only been used once in 4 years as a toilet as live 4 miles away so if need that I can go home although it is inconvinient to travel The 4 mile, if used I would have to travel it in the car to empty at home. So should I remove the loo bucket thing an take the non working shower out in the hopes I can keep the lorry there?

Bev123

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 04:55:01 pm »
Must say that it does seem one rule for one ......
I'm not allowed chicken coops but on the 20 acres of green belt behind my house my local council have agreed planning on 400 houses and an industrial estate! An all I want on mine is facilities for my livestock. You'd laugh if it were funny x

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2017, 05:07:47 pm »
maybe they want to make things difficult for you so that you will want to sell it and then they will be able to buy it and build more houses?  :thinking:
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

mart6

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Notts / Yorkshire border
Re: Dreaded council visit
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2017, 07:20:39 pm »
Your allowed a toilet anyway
My own example was just to show  how out of touch they really are
Planning inspector was great saw straight through the whole thing

Dont worry about anything  yet , wait and see what they actually put in writing
Mind you having said that the biggest loads of rubbish came from the head planning officer in my case.

At last minute they put in for costs and submitted that claim about residential use to try and get me to withdraw
appeal
Council never even mentioned any of the agricultural use dispite herd of goats and planted maize field.

They pulled the apply for planning permission stunt on me, i even had a 2 hour meeting in council offices
and it was sort of agreed it would be ok
Then they turned it down flat and served me with a enforcement notice a month later.

This is how incompetent they are when the planning application went in it was not for residential use
The planning officer did report and mentioned maize field and goats and pens used for goats.

Planning inspector was not amused how the failed to mention agricultural activities taking place
went the whole hog and just stopped short of calling them liars  ;)

Also do not worry about the accounts and the like they do not come into play until you go for residential planning permison

PS best place to help put your mind at rest is here

https://acp.planningportal.gov.uk/CaseSearch.aspx

Search enforcement appeals and read through the inspectors decisions
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 07:49:40 pm by mart6 »

 

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