THE OWNERS of a pig house made out of an old garage on land at Rockcliff, Walkford Lane, New Milton, have been told they don't have to pull it down.

Following a planning appeal by Trevor Sampson and Mrs Jayne Sprason, against an enforcement notice from New Forest District Council, the planning inspectorate decided the building and its concrete slab could stay, partly because the owner wanted to breed rare pigs.

In his report, the inspector said: "According to the appellant, the building provides a shelter for pigs and covered storage for a John Deere mower. I am given to understand that the appellant keeps a modest number of pigs of various rare breeds at the property, from which it is intended to breed in future.

"When I visited, the building was being fully utilised for agricultural purposes. A pig ark of typical dimensions is unlikely to be able to comfortably accommodate the larger pig breeds, one of which is kept at the site. I also note that after farrowing, it is likely that extra covered space would be required to ensure that piglet litters are not injured by their mothers. "Therefore, smaller buildings are unlikely to meet the functional requirements of the holding. Furthermore, the modest contribution made to ensuring the survival of farming rare breeds is a factor to which I attach some weight."