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Melverley Frarm Main Unit 1.jpg
Planning Application approved for a Certificate of Lawfulness to regularise agricultural and residential development at Melverley Farm, Whitchurch, Shropshire.


Certificate of Lawfulness Granted for the retention of three ancillary structures and alterations to the main house at Melverley Farm, Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Following the Covid lock down the countryside has seen a massive rise in visitors as foreign travel becomes a less realistic possibility.  This has however had unforeseen consequences with one being that a lot more people were using the public footpath located adjacent to Melverley Farm.  One of the people using said footpath reported the development work that has been undertaken at Melverley Farm and reported this to Shropshire Council.  The development in question consisted of the conversion of a existing and to a yoga studio, the erection of a Dutch barn, extensions to the main unit, and extensions and alteration of an existing barn to add a new first floor and convert this into a residential annex for an elderly relative.

The owner initially put a planning application in to regularise the development but this was refused by the Planning Department at Shropshire County Council for the following reason:

"The alterations, extensions and new building works on site do not make a positive contribution to the character of buildings in the Countryside nor do they protect and enhance the built and historic environment as their scale, design and detailing are not in keeping with the local character and context. As such the works are considered to be contrary to the NPPF and policies CS5, CS6, CS11, CS17, CS18, MD2, MD7a, MD7b and MD13 of the Shropshire LDF."


 It was at this impasse and with enforcement action looming that the owners contacted En-Plan and we were able to visit the site and ascertain that the development was indeed over four years old and as such under the current planning laws any operational development  is immune form enforcement action after  four years of being substantially completed.

En-Plan were now able to formulate a Certificate f Lawfulness application to state this fact to the Council and gain a legal view that the development was now lawful due to the above and this was duly submitted to the Council following a site meeting with the Planning and Enforcement Officers dealing with the matter.  The application subsequently received approval in September 20-21 with all development being deemed as "lawful" for the following reason stated on the decision notice:

"From reviewing the evidence submitted it is evident that the physical operation works and the use of the three barns for domestic purposes were in the main carried out more than four years prior to the date of the application and as such is now considered to be immune from enforcement. Therefore, it is considered appropriate to issue a Certificate of Lawful Development under S191 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) for the use and conversion of three barns to form additional domestic accommodation including the erection of extensions, installation of rooflights and dormer windows and formation of first floor balconies; erection of two single storey extensions to main house."

This is a great victory for the applicant who has invested heavily in improving the agricultural and residential elements at Melverley farm and this also retains the residential annex in its current form and therefore there is no disruption to the elderly relatives home and outlook. This project shows how En-Plan can assist with any Enforcement Issues practically and pragmatically so as to avoid any direct action and bring a swift resolution to the matter at hand.

If you would like to find out more about how our Planning Consultancy and Architectural Design Services can work in perfect sync to achieve a successful outcome in the planning system please CONTACT US and we will be only too happy to talk through any questions or development proposals you may have.


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Back Lane

Bomere Heath



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34 Queen Elizabeth Avenue

Kings Lynn


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