Monday, October 30, 2006

Working in woodland sheds

Not all shedworkers are bashing away at a computer keyboard in their back gardens. Smallwoods, the quarterly magazine from the marvellous Smallwoods Association, has an interesting feature in the new autumn issue on planning permission for sheds in woodland. Sadly, it’s not online so I’ve extracted the most relevant sections. To prevent this being an unreadably long post – and to add a frisson of excitement – I’ll post in several parts every day this week.

“Denny Herzenstein has restored a pond in his woodland. ‘You do need planning permission to create a new pond but not to restore one that already exists. You are not allowed to erect any building in your woodland (even a small tool shed) without first notifying the local council’

“Denny’s woodland is semi-natural ancient woodland within a designated AONB. He restored a pond that had been neglected for very many years and erected a 6x8ft tool shed (which he thought was well hidden) without first notifying the local council. It wasn’t long before the council discovered the developments and told him he would have to apply for retrospective planning permission for both…

“‘Under the Town & Country Planning Permitted Development Order 1995 it is possible to erect a building that is ‘reasonably necessary’ for forestry, e.g. a tool store without planning permission, as long as certain conditions are met. However you must still apply in writing to the council prior to the development giving full details of your proposal, and the council may impose a requirement to approve the specific siting, design, materials, external appearance, etc, before allowing the development to begin.

“‘It did seem somewhat absurd completing a detailed planning application for a small garden shed hidden deep in a wood, far from any public view and bolted simply onto sleepers lying on the ground. The application has to show the design from every elevation; it’s precise location in the wood (including a scale drawing that goes all the way to the public road – several hundred metres away in my case); and a scale drawing of the whole wood that is supposed to show every tree! Obviously not possible , but I did as best I could!’

“The council have granted Denny Herzenstein a temporary five-year permission. They will not grant more for a building that is considered a temporary structure, and the permission is only valid while Denny owns the land.”

To be continued tomorrow…

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