“FWS Carter and Sons were successful in obtaining planning permission for 2 further agricultural buildings at Hogsbrook Farm, next to their Business Park at Woodbury Salterton.
The 2 planning applications were debated at East Devon’s Planning meeting on Tuesday 2nd Oct at the Knowle Sidmouth. The 2 planning applications were17/2430/MFUL and 18/0920/FUL for large agricultural sheds at Hogsbrook Farm. They were both recommended for approval by the planning department.
Although the Planning Committee were reluctant to grant planning permission for these 2 buildings only 18 months after a planning inspector overturned the committee’s decision to refuse 2 similar units being changed from agricultural use to industrial, because it was claimed they were redundant for agricultural and their remaining cattle sheds a facilities were more than adequate for their farming needs for the foreseeable future.
Yet within a short space of time after the previous units were converted to Industrial use the company applied for these 2 further agricultural buildings due to the alleged expansion to their farm business.
It was pointed out that there have now been many similar applications at Greendale and Hogsbrook Farm where agricultural building have changed to industrial or business use due to the company claiming that they were no longer needed for their agriculture needs.
Committee members were concerned that although it seemed obvious that FWS Carter and Sons are “cynically abusing” the planning system and conditions attached to previous applications which had tried to control these changes, that have by default allowed the Business Park to expand considerably and in an uncontrolled manner.
The planning officer stated that the Government and East Devon planning regulations could unfortunately not prevent these applications being approved, as the applicant had submitted an agricultural justification statement, and the applications complied with all the legal requirements, but he agreed to recommend a legal clause that should prevent the applicant from converting these further 2 units to industrial or business use in the future.
District Councillor Geoff Jung a planning committee member and the local Councillor for Raleigh Ward which includes Woodbury Salterton said after the meeting.
“There are now more than a dozen massive Industrial units at Greendale and Hogsbrook Farm which were all retrospectively changed in use and later granted permission for industrial use.”
“I totally support encouraging businesses to expand and I totally support farmers to expand and diversify and I am all for the welfare of the animals.”
“But we are also the custodians of our countryside which needs protection from uncontrolled development.”
“It very disappointing to the local community that a local developer and landowner, FWS Carter and Sons, have been successful in working the planning system.”
“I do hope the legal draft to be added the planning permission will now prevent further applications of this nature”