Occupational Dwellings on Fishing Lakes


Winning appeals for occupational dwellings on fishery sites are fraught with red tape and not always an easy task.

'Occupational Dwelling' is a term used within Government planning advice for dwellings needed to supervise rural businesses.  Traditionally known as agricultural dwellings, the term was widened to take into account the wide range of rural businesses such as equestrian holdings and fisheries.

Acorus Rural Property Services Ltd has recently won two appeals for occupational dwellings at fishing lakes in Nottingham and Hull.  But, proving it's not always easy and by no means are all cases successful, the proposed development on a fishery site in Exeter which included accommodation for a key worker, was refused at appeal.

In the failed appeal, Acorus argued it would be beneficial to have a staff member living on the fishery site, but this was deemed unnecessary by the Inspector.  In this case, it was considered that there was not sufficient justification to counteract established policies which are in place to protect the countryside.

At the site in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, however, Acorus gave evidence that the type of fish kept required water testing up to 5 times a day and always at dawn and dusk.  It was also shown that making the site secure would mean an intrusive boundary set-up.  It was therefore accepted that a live-in manager on site was justified.

At Newbridge Lakes in Burstwick, Hull, Acorus established at Appeal that often their customers fish over several days staying under canvas through the night requiring a live-in manager on site.  The need for security and the constant protection and care of the fish, who are potentially vulnerable during the breeding and rearing process, was another big factor in winning the need for an occupational dwelling on site.

Brian Barrow, Managing Director of Acorus explains 'Planning advice allows for dwellings on fisheries in exceptional circumstances.  Such cases are often finely balanced and can rest on individual site circumstances and nature of the business.  These cases show what can be achieved and the fine line between success and failure.'