Proposed agricultural barn (as amended by plan received 14 April 2022 to reposition the building further from the protected trees).
The committee considered application P22/S0584/FUL for a proposed agricultural barn (as amended by plan received 14 April 2022 to reposition the building further from the protected trees).
Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting.
The planning officer introduced the report and explained that the application had been referred to the committee following a call-in from the local ward member, due to concerns on its location within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The planning officer also confirmed that the application had been deferred at the previous meeting of the planning committee to enable a site visit to take place. The application lied within a rural area and was in a grass field that bordered Well Place Road. In addition, the site plan showed an area of hardstanding, and while this was not in the committee report, it was within the site plan. The committee were then informed that the site was visually prominent, but the barn would be located at the bottom of the valley, but that planning officers considered the proposed development as keeping in character of the landscape, and was also modest in size and height. In addition, the application was considered proportionate to the site. The planning officer also confirmed in relation to planning conditions, that tree protection measures would be required in writing, and external lighting would need to also be agreed by officers. The committee were also given confirmation that for condition four, details would need to be submitted in writing. The planning officer concluded and confirmed that subject to conditions, the application was recommended for approval.
Mr Robert Booth, a local resident, spoke in objection to the application. The committee asked the speaker where the local residents who had objected to the application resided, to which the speaker explained that these objectors were spread out across the neighbouring area, but that all of these residents could be considered local to the application site.
Mr Peter Holtom and Mr Nick Turner, the applicant and the architect respectively, spoke in support of the application. The applicant was asked about their relationship to the site and were queried on the current ownership of the land. The speaker explained that the land was currently owned by their godfather and was in the process of being transferred to the applicant, but that this paperwork was currently being processed. Following a supplementary question on current animal ownership, the applicant confirmed he had 100 sheep and ewes, with one batch being in Checkendon and the other in Benson. The applicant however explained that they did not own the land in Benson, and so they were applying for land they would be in ownership of. The applicant also informed the committee following a request for clarification, that they also had the support of the tenant nearby whose land they had used.
Councillors Lorraine Hillier and Jo Robb, local ward member, spoke to the application.
The planning officer clarified to the committee that as the site was under five hectares of land, that they were not entitled to permitted development rights, and only those of five hectares or more would be able to use permitted development rights for a similar type of development.
The committee asked the planning officer if they were aware of the regulatory standards of spacing in relation to animal welfare and the usage of the building for animal storage. The planning officer responded that they did not know the spacing requirements for animals, but the application was not solely related to animals, and the application was not being proposed as a site for the specific storage of animals. In response to a supplementary question, the planning officer also confirmed that any breach of animal welfare standards was a separate matter to the planning permission, and so there would be no negative impact on the planning authority in that aspect.
The committee asked if a condition could be required to specify livestock farming solely. The team leader – applications west, explained that the condition proposed covered a limited range of activities, but that a condition could be worded to require the barn be used for specified purposes as the applicant had proposed in their application. The committee then asked whether drainage conditions would be required due to the animals that would go into the building. The planning officer responded that based on the application that had been submitted, a specific condition on drainage would not be a requirement.
The committee asked if there was a way to specifically tie the application to agricultural use only, to reduce the risk of the building being changed for use at a later date. The planning officer responded that the wording already given in the condition would be appropriate in ensuring the use that had been applied for. The committee then expressed concern on the lack of a threshold on the number of machineries in storage before a breach of planning conditions may occur due to a differential of use compared to what had been applied for. The planning officer addressed this concern and stated that there was no limit that could be imposed on machinery, but they could make the condition related to the specified use that was stated in the application. In response to an additional query from the committee, the planning officer also clarified that based on the comments raised by the committee during the agenda item, that it would be reasonable to require the details of the surface water drainage and for these to be agreed by the planning officers.
A motion moved and seconded, to grant planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.
RESOLVED: to grant planning permission to application P22/S0584/FUL subject to the following conditions:
1. Commencement of development within three years
2. Approved plans
3. Materials as on plan and for the agricultural barn to be constructed using dark timber materials
4. Landscaping to be submitted and agreed
5. Tree protection measures
6. Improvement of existing vehicular access
7. Gate to be set back from highway
8. Details of any external lighting to be agreed
9. Agricultural use only and as specified in the planning application
10.Surface water drainage – to be agreed with planning officers