Officers outlined the application which was for the demolition of an existing structure located in the Green Belt and the erection of a stable building, a ménage and the laying of stone and grasscrete to create a turning area. The stables structure would consist of a timber building with two loose boxes and a tack room.
Officers had assessed the application as being compliant with policies BD15 and BDP4 of the District Plan and paragraphs 145 and 146 of the NPPF in that the proposed stables would not be considered to be inappropriate in the Green Belt as they would be in a suitable position on the site and replace a structure of similar scale. The design had been deemed to be suitable in terms of scope and style, and it was considered by officers that the building would not harm the openness of the Green Belt. No objections had been received from County Highways or from North Worcestershire Water Management.
Objections had been received from the Parish Council and local residents as to the height of the proposed stables and animal welfare issues. Members were referred to the response received from the applicant with regard to the design and dimensions of the building as set out in the Update Report. With regard to animal welfare issues, there were exceptions under which it would be possible to house two horses on a plot of 0.5 hectares in area and Members were referred to the relevant provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
At the invitation of the Chairman Mr. K. Taylor and Mrs A. Hill addressed the Committee in objection to the application and Mr. P. Brown the applicant’s agent addressed the Committee on behalf of the applicant. Parish Councillor R. Jennings on behalf of Dodford and Grafton Parish Council and District Councillor Andrew Beaumont (Ward Councillor) addressed the Committee in objection to the application.
In debating the application Members referred to a number of concerns raised during public speaking including the small size of the site, whether it would be suitable for two horses from an animal welfare point of view, the proposed scale of the stables including the proposed roof height, that the new stables structure would be in a more prominent location than the existing building, the impact on the openness of the Green Belt and highways issues.
In response officers clarified that loss of a view was not a material planning consideration, animal welfare issues were regulated under separate legislation and that from a highways perspective the changes were regarded as a betterment.
Following further debate Members remained concerned as to the scale and location of the stables and the impact on the openness of the Green Belt and an alternative recommendation for refusal was moved and seconded.
RESOLVED that Planning Permission be refused for the following reasons:-
1. The proposed development would not preserve, and would harm the openness of the Green Belt by reason of the prominent position of the proposed building visible from public views from Yarnold Lane. No very special circumstances have been put forward, or exist, to outweigh the harm identified. The development is therefore inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The proposal would therefore be contrary to BDP4 of the Bromsgrove District Plan and the guidance contained in Paragraphs 143, 144, and 145 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.
2. The NPPF requires new buildings for equine development consist of appropriate facilities. By reason of the proposed height of the building and size of the plot the proposed stable and ménage are considered to exceed what are appropriate facilities on site. The proposal would therefore be contrary to BDP15 of the Bromsgrove District Plan and the provisions contained in the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.