Agenda item

P22/S3825/O - Toll Lodge Farm London Road near Tetsworth, OX9 7AZ

Provision of equestrian fitness and rehabilitation centre, with ancillary buildings, parking and landscaping.


The committee considered planning application P22/S3825/O for the provision of equestrian fitness and rehabilitation centre, with ancillary buildings, parking and landscaping, on land at Toll Lodge Farm, London Road, near Tetsworth.  


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 highlighted that the application was brought to the committee due to the objection of Tetsworth Parish Council.


The planning officer informed the committee that the site was about a kilometre to the east of Tetsworth and that there was a 2014 extant permission on the site for its use as a domestic stable. She also noted that since that permission, the site had been used for storage of building materials which was subject to a separate ongoing enforcement action, including the entrance gates which was not a material planning consideration.


The application was also noted by members as being an outline application with all matters considered except landscaping.

The planning officer then informed members that the application was identical to an application that had been dismissed at appeal in 2022. The committee noted that the reason the inspector dismissed the appeal was on technical grounds; around carbon reduction not meeting Local Plan policy DES10 requirements and about the protection of great crested newts. However, the inspector found the principle of the proposed development to be acceptable. The planning officer then highlighted that the current application addressed the DES10 requirements and the concerns about the great crested newts as the applicant was prepared to enter into the district licensing scheme for their protection.


The planning officer then discussed the parish council’s objection as they believed that the inspector did not give full weight to their neighbourhood plan as it was not made at the time of the appeal. However, she assured the committee that the neighbourhood plan was given full weight at the time and also that there had been no material change in circumstances between when the planning inspectorate made their decision and the current application.


Overall, as an independent inspector reviewed the plans and considered them acceptable, and the planning officer believed that all the issues were addressed from the appeal of the previous application, she recommended that the application be approved.



John Gilbert spoke on behalf of Tetsworth Parish Council, objecting to the application. 


Jake Collinge, the agent representing the applicant, spoke in support of the application. 


Councillor Georgina Heritage, a local ward councillor, spoke objecting to the application. 



The committee asked about the planning inspectorate and if they could change their opinion if the application went to appeal again. In response, the planning officer confirmed that the past decision would be a factor in the planning inspectorate’s consideration, and they would need a robust justification to depart from the previous decision. Members then asked if the inspector did give enough weight to the neighbourhood plan and the planning officer clarified that the neighbourhood plan was submitted to the inspector during the appeal, and they were also made aware of the strength of feeling by the community to the application.


In response to a question about if the site was viewed as greenfield or brownfield, the planning officer affirmed that the site was considered to be an equine facility, which was permitted by the extant 2014 permission, and that the current state of the site had not affected the officers’ recommendations. Also, on a question of need for the facility, the planning officer confirmed that the extant 2014 permission meant that no justification for need for the proposed equine fitness and rehabilitation centre was required to be proven by the applicant.


The committee then discussed the provision of an isolation unit for sick horses and if this was in the plans, but they were reminded that this was not a material planning consideration, although the size of the site could facilitate a horse isolation unit. The development manager added that an informative could be put on the permission which would point them to the National Equine Welfare Council standards for these facilities, specifically around isolation units.


Members then asked about an additional potential condition for control over external lighting but were content that this would be covered by suggested condition 17 in the officer’s report. In response to another proposed additional condition that the site was cleared before work was commenced, the development manager confirmed that this would not be reasonable, although the site was currently undergoing enforcement action.


The committee then discussed sustainable building design but were satisfied with the comments of the planning officer that the plans met Local Plan policy DES10 and that BREAM excellent standard would be met and enforced in the recommended conditions.


Overall, due to the 2014 extant permission for an equine facility on the site, and that all the issues raised by the inspector at the 2022 appeal were addressed, the committee agreed that the application should be approved subject to conditions and the additional informative about equine health.


A motion, moved and seconded, to authorise the head of planning, in consultation with the chair of the planning committee, to approve the application was carried on being put to the vote. 



RESOLVED: to authorise the head of planning, in consultation with the chair of the planning committee, to approve planning application P22/S3825/O, subject to:


a) the applicant entering into the Great Crested Newts District Level Licensing Scheme with NatureSpace, within one month of this decision, and conditions associated with this scheme, and


b) the following conditions:

1. Commencement - Outline with Reserved Matters

2. Approved plans

3. Levels (details required)

4. Schedule of Materials

5. Energy Statement Verification

6. BREEAM Design Stage Certificates

7. New vehicular access

8. Vision splay dimensions

9. Tree Protection (General)

10. Landscaping & protection of retained trees / hedgerows

11. Landscape Management Plan

12. Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP)

13. Biodiversity Enhancement Plan (BEP)

14. DLL condition to be specified by NatureSpace

15. DLL condition to be specified by NatureSpace

16. DLL condition to be specified by NatureSpace

17. Lighting

18. Surface water drainage works (details required)

19. SUDS compliance

20. Foul drainage works (details required)

21. Manure storage and disposal



The applicant should ensure that the proposed development meets the necessary standards as set out by the National Equine Welfare Council, in particular in relation to isolation units for infectious diseases.

Supporting documents: