Specific guidelines or documentation Planning Inspectors must refer/defer to.

Paul Bird made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Planning Inspectorate

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Planning Inspectorate,

Could you please provide the specific documentation or guidelines which Planning Inspectors refer to when assessing the ability of an agricultural business to sustain the cost of a temporary agricultural dwelling, such as a mobile home or easily disassembled wooden structure?

Could you also please provide the specific documentation or guidelines which Planning Inspectors refer to when assessing the ability of an agricultural business to sustain the cost of a permanent agricultural dwelling?

In the absence of any such documentation or guidelines can you please confirm that the individual Planning Inspector would defer to HMRC's statute on what constitutes 'capital expenditure'? . Ie neither a mobile home nor a permanent agricultural dwelling are allowable as capital expenses and are not counted as capital expenditure according to HMRC's rules on the subject (HMRC code CAA01/S23). The Planning Inspectorate will be aware that CAA01/S23 makes allowance for a 'caravan' and therefore by definition a 'mobile home' if it is provided by a farmer to house a worker. What it does not allow for is capital allowance to be claimed on a caravan if the caravan is to be used as a dwelling by the farmer his/herself. On this legal basis, can the Planning Inspectorate confirm for and on the record that when a temporary caravan/mobile home is proposed for the temporary dwelling of a farmer for him/herself to use as a principle dwelling, that this is not to be considered by the decision maker i.e. Planning Inspector, Delegated power, or Planning Committee member as 'plant and machinery' and therefore not to be properly referred to as capital expenditure?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Bird.

PINS FOI Requests, Planning Inspectorate

Thank you for your email.  If you have made a request for information then
you should normally expect a response within 20 working days.  

We will contact you within this period if we need more information or need
to extend the time for response.

Pritchard, Chris, Planning Inspectorate

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Bird

Thank you for your e-mail, making a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Please find attached a copy of the Housing chapter of the Inspector Training Manual (with particular reference to paragraphs 149 to 153). The Manual is subject to regular updates. The Manual does not constitute Government policy or guidance and does not seek to interpret Government policy. In the event there appears to be a discrepancy between the Manual and national policy / guidance, any national policy and guidance will be conclusive. As this document is not written for an external audience, many of the hyperlinks point to our internal systems at the Inspectorate (including links from one chapter to another), and therefore will not be accessible to those outside.

Further to this it may be helpful if I highlight, by way of background advice and assistance, the associated planning appeal casework process and relevant procedures. A developer can exercise the legal right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate following the refusal of planning permission by a local planning authority. An Inspector is appointed to make a decision on the behalf of the Secretary of State. The Inspector determines the appeal on the basis of the written evidence submitted by the appeal parties and local people together with observations made at a site visit. It is a matter of judgement for the Inspector as to the level of weight to attach to matters and evidence, taking into account case specific and particular circumstances, with the weight of planning argument being the determining factor.

The onus is on the parties concerned to provide any evidence they consider is necessary to allow the Inspector to have a full understanding of the issues involved. To ensure impartiality neither the Planning Inspectorate administrative staff nor the Inspector has the power to seek out additional evidence or information which might support one party’s case over that of the other.

An Inspector will consider all the submitted evidence and reach his or her own independent judgement on the merits of the proposal, applying weight to the relevant planning considerations, before making a decision in line with local planning policies unless material considerations justified taking a different position. The Inspector is required to provide reasoning and conclusions on the appeal in a decision letter. Other than the published appeal decision letter, which sets out the Inspector’s reasoning and conclusions, the Planning Inspectorate would not hold any recorded information which explains specifically what information the Inspector is basing his conclusions upon or the particular weight he or she gives to it.

Internal Review Process: If you are unhappy with the outcome of your request for information, or the way we handled your request, then you can ask for an internal review. Details of our review procedures and contact details for the Information Commissioner’s Office are set out in the attached leaflet.

Chris Pritchard
The Planning Inspectorate
Room 3H, Hawk Wing, Temple Quay House
2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

E-mail: [email address]
Telephone: 0303 444 5493

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Gadawodd Paul Bird anodiad ()

This FOI request has provided the information I needed to prove that Inspector Thomas Shields did incorrectly refer to a temporary mobile home as 'capital expenditure', in appeal decision :


A mobile home or caravan (same thing in law) when intended for the use of a farm manager (as opposed to being intended for a worker) is not 'plant and machinery' and therefore is not 'capital expenditure'.

On this basis the Inspector was incorrect in his assertion that an allowance (£10000) should be deducted from the business profits, and therefore incorrect in his assertion that the business was not planned on a sound financial basis, especially considering it was deducted in one sum from final year predicted profits.

I may use this information to make a claim against the Planning Inspectorate, it will certainly be used in any further dealings I have with the planning system.