A COUNTY couple will be forced to move elsewhere after their appeal case to keep a static caravan on their Madley field was last week dismissed last week by a planning inspector.

Stuart and Shan Maund moved onto the land west of Upper House which they purchased to develop a mixed rural enterprise on in February 2018.

The couple wanted to breed Shire horses, keep sheep and run horse riding lessons from the site near the Comet Inn.

Speaking during the appeal hearing at Herefordshire Council’s Plough Lane offices on May 1, Stuart Maund said they needed to be on-site for the welfare of the animals.

But in his decision notice, Inspector Tim Belcher said there was no functional need for the couple to live there.

“I am aware that when the Shire Horses are about to foal it would be preferable for the appellants to be on hand in case an emergency arises,” he said.

“In my view, the appellants could help the Shire Horses and the ewes, and their personal accommodation needs can be met, by using a caravan that could be brought onto the appeal site during the birthing periods of the animals concerned.

“There are permitted development rights allowing season occupation of caravans by agricultural workers on agricultural land.

“During the remainder of the year it has not been demonstrated that the appellants have to be on the appeal site for the majority of the time.”

Mr Belcher concluded that the continued residential use of the mobile home would be contrary to the relevant parts of the local plan and the national planning policy.

He also said he had been informed that there were no homes available to rent within a 5-mile radius of the site but that this was not a strong enough reason to allow the appeal.

“I know that it is difficult to find affordable housing within rural areas.

“However, the lack of availability of nearby housing is not a good reason to allow residential development that is contrary to local and national policy.”

The couple now have six months to comply with an enforcement notice to remove the mobile home.