This application sought retrospective consent for the creation of an earth bund to eastern boundary, erection of fencing, creation of a new access road, siting of 2no. shipping containers and temporary siting for three years of 1no. static caravan and 1no. touring caravan in relation to the established equestrian business, erection of decking adjacent to static caravan and installation of a sewage treatment plant at Rushmoor Stud, Rushmoor Lane, Bratton, Telford, Shropshire, TF5 0DA
Councillor J Seymour, Ward Member, had requested that the application be determined by the Planning Committee.
Councillor A Eade read out a statement on behalf of Councillor J Seymour who was unable to attend the meeting which referred to the principal of the application and the wish to build a five bedroomed property on the site. She raised concerns regarding the business impracticalities and its viability, the limited grazing land which she felt was insufficient, the land was rented and was liable to flooding. The structures had appeared without planning permission and challenged whether patio doors, a balcony and kitchen were a necessity and whether 24 hour care was a requirement outside of the foaling season. It was further felt that the holiday let could be made available for staff during this time. The application went against policy HO10 and it asked that the application be refused.
Mr Graham Moss, Applicant’s Agent, spoke in favour of the application and explained that the objections were the same as had previously been raised on an earlier application. He felt the facts were not correct in that there had never been a refusal for a dwelling. Despite the Applicant not following a conventional and logical approach to the planning application he asked Members to approve the application in order for the business to continue to be a success
The Area Team Planning Manager (West) informed Members that the previous three year temporary consent for the caravans had expired in October 2021. An application for a further three years had been received and it was imperative for the foaling season which would take place between January and May. Due to the nature of the business a worker would be on site 24 hours a day in order to monitor any changes with the health and behaviour of the horses. Officers were satisfied that due to the location of static and touring caravans and their temporary nature there would be no detrimental impact to the character or appearance of street scene. The miscellaneous works were of an acceptable scale and design were minor in scale and did not affect neighbouring properties. Shipping containers were not normally a permanent feature but as they would be well screened by mature boundary treatments and only seen at limited vantage points they were considered acceptable with the condition that they be painted green in order for them to further blend in. The Drainage Engineers had raised no objections in relation to the drainage on the site. In relation to the ongoing land owner dispute, this was a civil matter and not a material consideration and this had been outlined to both parties. As there were no technical objections to warrant refusal, Members were asked to approve the application.
During the debate some Members felt that although retrospective applications were not favoured, the application had no impact on neighbours and the business understood their needs and that the business should be supported. Other Members felt that whilst the painting of the shipping containers was welcomed they asked if vines for screening the containers could also be requested. It was felt that the horses did require observation and the structures were quite a distance from the narrow road it was acceptable but asked if the applicant would have to re-apply every three years. A question arose in relation to the refusal of an application to build a dwelling in 2017 and if this could be clarified.
The Area Team Planning Manager (West) informed Members that the shipping containers were close to the hedge and had a lot of natural screening and as they were not in a prominent position that painting them green would allow them to blend in against the hedgerow. The NPPF allowed new enterprises the ability to have a worker living on site for three years to establish the business. It was a future hope of the Applicant that the business would remain viable to enable it to sustain a permanent equestrian workers dwelling. The application was not a means of granting consent for a dwelling and an application would be heard at the appropriate time on its own merits. In relation to the application for a permanent dwelling, planning policy required that a business supplied accounts for three years and in 2017 the applicant was advised that it was premature to apply for a permanent dwelling at that point and the application was amended to a change of use to equestrian and use as a stables.
On being put to the vote it was, by a majority/unanimously:
RESOLVED: that delegated authority be granted to the Development Management Service Delivery Manager to grant planning permission subject to the conditions contained within the report (with authority to finalise conditions and reasons for approval to be delegated to Development Management Service Delivery Manager).