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Thread: Planning etc and housing workers?

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    Senior Member MerryKerry's Avatar
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    Planning etc and housing workers?

    Thinking of taking on a chap who's keen to volunteer and learn, but he'll need accommodation. I was thinking something along the lines of a caravan, using our facilities for laundry, food etc. Getting very confused messages re: planning on all this though, does anyone know the regs? Also, does it have to be a caravan to not upset anybody or could it be something a bit more solid, I'm thinking LIKE one of those garden offices, chalet type thing?
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    Re: Planning etc and housing workers?

    Quote Originally Posted by MerryKerry View Post
    Thinking of taking on a chap who's keen to volunteer and learn, but he'll need accommodation. I was thinking something along the lines of a caravan, using our facilities for laundry, food etc. Getting very confused messages re: planning on all this though, does anyone know the regs? Also, does it have to be a caravan to not upset anybody or could it be something a bit more solid, I'm thinking LIKE one of those garden offices, chalet type thing?
    I would think twice on the "volunteer" aspect. "On this side of the pond", if he isn't a paid employee and got accidently injured on your farm you could be sued - as an employee he would be eligible for whatever "workman compensation" is available. I learned that from an ex-employer who used to hire students for their work practice terms (normally 1-3 months).

    Personally, I would be considering a minimum wage with an agreed upon amount for "room & board" with a specified term of employment.

    Also, it is easier to "fire an employee" than it is to "evict a squatter".

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    Re: Planning etc and housing workers?

    I got a Britcab cabin last year and it did not need any planning as it was placed within the curtilage of the house. It is classed as a garden shed as it does not have any plumbing/cooking facilities but we use it frequently as a spare bedroom. It is well insulated and came complete with an electric hook up point. They are sold as offices, are well lit and have heaters and power sockets built in. Not the cheapest option but a lot more useful than a basic caravan.

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    Re: Planning etc and housing workers?

    If the OP is able to place something within the curtilage of his dwelling, or other dwellings connected with the farm, then he/she can apply for an LDC (Lawful Development Certificate) to erect all kinds of buildings and they can be permanent. BUT. They can not be inhabited as a house would be. The wording should contain the phrase "They are/It is building(s) to be used for purposes incidental to the use of the dwelling house as such" It can be a snooker room, swimming pool, gymnasium, etc. all of those together and more if it can be proved that they are "incidental to the use of the dwelling house"

    Close to where I live a property with circa 1.5 acres of land and an existing house applied for a double garage using an LDC. Double doors, window in one side, the lot. Single story but a gabled roof. It was never built as a garage. No garage doors, just a normal domestic "front" door and a side window (where was the building inspector all the time it was being built ???). 10 months later another LDC was lodged, this time to convert the existing "garage" into a dwelling. Both LDCs were supported by a local District Councillor and both were granted !!!

    If the OP is serious but is not really conversant with planning law then I would advise them in the way that I was advised many years ago by a clever man. And that advice was "Buy brains" i.e. get a smart planning consultant to advise. The problem is that there are so many people who call themselves "planning consultants" and who I wouldn't pay in chocolate buttons. I got involved with one such firm, who even led me to a QC who was supposed to know everything about planning law. Long story short but suffice to say that I eventually received quite a nice cheque from the Treasury Solicitor and some sound advice which I went with and gained permission to erect a farm building which I had every right to do in the first place !
    Last edited by zaza; 28-02-18 at 08:35 PM.

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    Senior Member MerryKerry's Avatar
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    Re: Planning etc and housing workers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhead View Post
    I would think twice on the "volunteer" aspect. "On this side of the pond", if he isn't a paid employee and got accidently injured on your farm you could be sued - as an employee he would be eligible for whatever "workman compensation" is available. I learned that from an ex-employer who used to hire students for their work practice terms (normally 1-3 months).

    Personally, I would be considering a minimum wage with an agreed upon amount for "room & board" with a specified term of employment.

    Also, it is easier to "fire an employee" than it is to "evict a squatter".
    I know a few people who rely on voluntary labour and it seems to work OK? Our chap doesn't actually need an income, just reduced living costs will do - he wants to learn more than earn iyswim. Min wage is more than just min wage here, you're looking at double that to comply with pensions, national insurance etc so he would actually cost us about 30k the second we agree to pay him. I don't even earn that much from this We have pretty hefty insurance to cover people on the farm.

    Yes our main obstacle is lack of affordable local housing - everything around here is large expensive country properties, the cheap stuff's so far away it would make it stupid to 'commute' :/
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    Re: Planning etc and housing workers?

    Quote Originally Posted by MerryKerry View Post
    I know a few people who rely on voluntary labour and it seems to work OK? Our chap doesn't actually need an income, just reduced living costs will do - he wants to learn more than earn iyswim. Min wage is more than just min wage here, you're looking at double that to comply with pensions, national insurance etc so he would actually cost us about 30k the second we agree to pay him. I don't even earn that much from this We have pretty hefty insurance to cover people on the farm.

    Yes our main obstacle is lack of affordable local housing - everything around here is large expensive country properties, the cheap stuff's so far away it would make it stupid to 'commute' :/
    you are opening a can of worms if you do not pay them, its called slavery and the law is not keen on it.
    To justify a worker living there you will need to demonstrate a need etc.
    I guess you are looking at somebody earning enough to pay rent on accommodation, if so you should draw up a contract of employment demonstrating you are paying a wage for so many hours, in return they will live rent free. You will still be liable for tax NI etc.
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    Senior Member MerryKerry's Avatar
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    Re: Planning etc and housing workers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Exfarmer View Post
    you are opening a can of worms if you do not pay them, its called slavery and the law is not keen on it.
    To justify a worker living there you will need to demonstrate a need etc.
    I guess you are looking at somebody earning enough to pay rent on accommodation, if so you should draw up a contract of employment demonstrating you are paying a wage for so many hours, in return they will live rent free. You will still be liable for tax NI etc.
    Really don't think so, like I say I know plenty of people who rely on WOOFFERS etc etc. we're still at liberty to volunteer are we not?
    Team Rosewood - Grazing where others fear to tread!

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