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Author Topic: Gordon's Barn  (Read 1972 times)
Cookham Society
Jr. Member
Posts: 51

« on: May 13, 2019, 11:55:42 AM »

Permission to convert part of Gordonís Barn at Lower Mount Farm to a dwelling house was granted on 23 April '19. Yet again we see agricultural Permitted Development Rights used to convert inappropriate buildings in the Green Belt into dwellings in positions where houses would not otherwise be permitted.

We have objected strongly but without success to earlier applications to convert agricultural buildings to dwellings at Lower Mount Farm by use of PDR. At the Pump House on Kennel Lane we objected because the site was isolated, in an open area of the Green Belt and an unsuitable location for a new house. We asked for the application to be decided by the Panel of Councillors rather than just the planning officers. The planning officer recommended approval, but the Panel agreed with us and refused the application. With regard to the farm shop at the PYO site the officers agreed with our submission and refused the application. This was primarily because of the planning conditions that had been placed on the original approval for the building for use as a farm shop. Both these decisions by the Borough were appealed, the Borough overuled and permission given by Planning Inspectors.

As you can see from the picture of Gordonís Barn it is not dis-similar to the type of shack you see in a shanty town. In planning terms this is now a dwelling house. No doubt we will soon see an application to knock this down and rebuild.

Generally, we do not object to the re-use of genuinely redundant buildings provided the fabric of the building is substantial, worth saving, and suitable for reuse. In the case of Gordons Barn all that will end up being reused is the shape.

At present, agricultural Permitted Development Rights are the same in all areas. We question whether they should be more restricted in the Green Belt

Full Member
Posts: 133

« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 01:11:14 PM »

Then can I also suggest CLLRS and RBWM Officers - stop permitting planning permission for them (land owners / farmers / developers)  to build barns in the first instance - so they have to use whatever storage they currently have..  because they are just sowing the seed and 'land banking' developments for the future - such as these silly little conversions to houses....

Could I convert my shed into a house ? My Garage ?... basically.. can any of us residents claim the need for Guinea Pig Hutches in our back yards... squash a kid in there for 4 years as a place of 'residence' and then claim development rights ?

Seriously...  Roll Eyes

Sr. Member
Posts: 346

« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 08:34:30 PM »

I wonder which farmer owns Lower Mount Farm?

No prizes for guessing!

And how on earth does said farmer manage to convince the RBWM Councillors and Planning Officers to allow him to build houses
on greenbelt land where otherwise (and other proposers) would get an emphatic NO!!
A singular pump-house in the middle of nowhere, for heavens sake ... to be replaced by a house

No prizes for offering any insight.

The word bung - as in bath plug - comes readily to mind.

Oh yes ... and watch out for conversions of "field shelters" dotted around the Cookhams into houses.
Trust me, this will evole - and much sooner than you think.

Posts: 33

« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 03:45:43 PM »

I hold no brief for the "farmer" involved, but it seems unfair to blame RBWM for these developments, as they rejected them, only to have their decisions overturned by a Planning Inspectors.
From  my (admittedly limited) experience of Planning Inspectors they might be more appropriately be titled "Planning Disrespectors". They are dropped in from some remote location, with no local background, and seem pre-disposed to grant permission if at all possible.
I agree that RBWM should look carefully at application to build barns, storage units etc. Our local "farmer" has demonstrated a comprehensive grasp of the planning loopholes that will allow such structures to be converted later.
Full Member
Posts: 133

« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2019, 07:28:33 AM »

Well in response to this permission

1). An Agricultural tie should be placed on it (even though in years to come it will get removed - but lets hope the planning system has changed since then).

2). It should not be allowed to increase in size and height..

3). As to these inspectors - I understand they are paid ALOT of money and TRAVEL from all over the country to give their 'blessing' to these unacceptable buildings.

4). These so called 'farmers' are exploiting the planning laws - and literally seeing Cookham as a 'ripe' development opportunity. Its sad that the Cookham Discussion Board History got deleted, as it had so many threads where situations like this have already happened - i.e Kennel lane that WAS A LANE / Foot path to run the Hunt Hounds from.. now a ROAD.
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