Taylor and Sons (Farms) v Secretary of State for Environment Transport and the Regions and Three Rivers District Council: CA 31 Jul 2001

Over a long period of time the applicants had deposited large quantities of waste on their land to hard standings and tracks. They were served with enforcement notices alleging a change from agricultural use, to agricultural use with waste deposit, and unauthorised engineering and other operations in creating a hard standing, or that it was permitted development. They appealed the notices saying that there had been no engineering operations, saying ‘in order to discover whether some development is permitted by that part one should first examine whether the development is reasonably necessary for the purposes of agriculture. ‘ But that was not the procedure followed. The inspector found that they had been used for feeding sheep, and she held this was ‘accommodating’ them.
Held: The word ‘accomodation’ came from the Latin ‘accommodatus’ which meant suitable, and that could apply to the hard standing, and was not restricted as the judge had found: ‘So one must look to the context.’ The claimant might have sought to specify the extent of use for agricultural purposes as a fall-back position, but had not done so. The inspector had not addressed in her decision the extent to which the hard standing was on the former site of a track and was an improvement. The inspectors failure to suggest this was not an error in law, and it was not reasonable to return the matter to the inspector. The court discouraged site inspections: ‘The function of a site visit is to enable an inspector to make a judgment about submissions which have been made rather than to explore new possibilities. ‘ The enforcement notice stood as varied by the inspector.


Lord Justice Mance, Lord Justice Schiemann, Lord Justice Keene


[2001] EWCA Civ 1254, Gazette 04-Oct-2001, Times 16-Oct-2001, [2002] PLCR 11




Town and Country Planning Act 1990 174, General Permitted Development Order 1995


England and Wales


Appeal fromTaylor v Secretary of State for the Environment Transport and the Regions and Another QBD 30-Jan-2001
An area with a hard surface which was used as a hard standing for feeding sheep, and which was formed by deposit of builder’s rubble was not a habitation and therefore was not used for the accommodation of sheep. Since the landowner was entitled to . .
CitedCowen v Secretary of State for Environment Peak District National Park Authority CA 26-May-1999
A land-owner laid a tarmac surface on a path within the National Park. This was held to be an improvement required for the right of way. The fact that works constituted an alteration did not avoid the protection given as an improvement. . .

Cited by:

ExplainedExmouth Marina Ltd, Regina (on the Application of) v First Secretary of State and Another Admn 3-Jun-2003
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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Planning, Environment

Updated: 01 June 2022; Ref: scu.159893