Certificate of lawfulness for ‘Love Shack’ granted by Pembrokeshire planners

A family can stay in their Pembrokeshire ‘Love Shack’ built without permission after being given the go-ahead by county planners.

Estelle Burton and family had applied for a certificate of lawfulness for her daughter, son-in-law and their three children to stay at The Love Shack, Middle Redford Farm, Princess Gate, near Narberth; the family having lived on site for many years.

An application for a certificate of lawfulness allows applicant to stay at a development if they can provide proof of occupancy over a prolonged period, normally in excess of four years.

A supporting statement by agent Hayston Developments & Planning Ltd says: “The land in the client ownership totals circa 20 acres and includes a farmhouse to the north (where Mr and Mrs Burton live), several farm sheds, outbuildings and the [application], which is lived independently by Mr and Mrs Dean and Kimberley Bethel and their three children. The farmhouse only has four bedrooms and as such there is no room for any other family members.”

It adds: “The purpose of this application is to establish the fact that an adapted four-bedroom dwelling structure which is fixed to the ground has been the permanent home of Mr and Mrs Bethel for a period in excess of four years prior the date of this submission. If that is the case, the dwelling would remain immune from enforcement action.”

The statement provides witness statements and letters setting out a timeline of occupancy “and the various incremental works which had been made to the lodge to effectively create a fixed structure and permanent dwelling on the site”.

“The overall aim of the works were to make it more structurally stable, particularly during poor and windy weather, and to provide a warmer internal living environment with the existing log burner plus the addition of full cladding. And furthermore, the addition of more internal space through the installation of the two extensions.”

It lists a timeline of works going back as far as 2006 with a wooden chalet, with the later static mobile home, known as the ‘Love Shack’ on site in 2018, being used for day-to-day living, followed by works including satellite TV and phone connection, a second chalet adjoining, and two extensions.

An officer report recommended the certificate of lawfulness be granted on the basis it had “been on the site and occupied as an independent dwellinghouse for a period of time in excess of four years or more preceding the date of the application for this certificate”.

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