New dwelling proximity to farm buildings

Updated on 12th February 2018 in Planning Permission
0 on 12th February 2018

We have prior approval under class Q rules to convert our disused milking parlour to two dwellings.  However what we have permission for is not very attractive and doesn’t make best use of the site so we’re making a planning application to build 2 attached cottages there instead.  The planning officer has now got it into his head that the site is too close to our other farm buildings, so there could be noise and smell.  He’s not concerned about the effect on our farm business of having dwellings so close, only on the potential effect on the occupants of the dwellings.  There are already at least four other cottages nearby already, and we’ve never had any complaints from the non-farming neighbours – they like living “on the farm”.
The building in question is in fact very close (about 6m which will be cottage gardens).  It’s a long, low shed and further down the slope so it doesn’t cast much shade on the garden.  We haven’t kept cattle in this shed for 16 years (when we stopped milking) and have no intention of doing so, especially as the cottages will either be lived in by our daughters, or rented out by us.  But the planning officer says we could change our mind, or sell it to someone else who would keep cattle there.
I have 2 (main) questions:
1. Is there a statutory minimum distance between a dwelling and a cattle building?  Or any guidelines we can refer to?
2. Can the planning authority put a condition on the application such that livestock will never be kept in that building ever again?  We would be quite happy to agree to this.

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