Agenda item

DM/2019/00548 - Extension to existing agricultural building. Change of use to equestrian centre for maximum of 16 horses with external manege. Latimer Farm, Earlswood Road, Earlswood


We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was recommended for approval subject to the five conditions, as outlined in the report.


The local Member for Shirenewton, also a Planning Committee Member, was unable to attend the meeting but had emailed the Planning Department outlining her views on the application.  The email had been presented to the Planning Committee in late correspondence. However, the Chair asked the Head of Planning, Housing and Place Shaping to summarise the email, as the Committee had already had site of the email in late correspondence.


The email is as follows:


‘The relevance of the following comments read out at committee today may well be dependent on the site visit.


The application is for change of use to an Equestrian centre for a maximum of 16 horses and the change of use and extension of an existing agricultural building.


1.      Siting of the Manure Heap

In this application the siting of a manure heap is a relevant factor for planning policy EP1 of the LDP, concerned with the residential amenity of any nearby residential property. I note that the manure heap for the equestrian establishment is well over 100m from the nearest residential property and pleased to see its location is conditioned. (See the end of the report and paragraph 6.1.3 of the committee report). However, the report does not mention which nearby residential property it is referring to or its actual distance. If it is the owner occupier’s residence this is of course less of an issue as they can control its piling and spreading, provided the residence is not used in future  by persons who are not also in charge of the Equestrian centre.


The condition at the end of this report refers to the location of the manure heap being based on drawing BP 2693/00 (July 2019).  The dimensions of the manure heap are given as 3.6 x 4.5. However the drawing notes state that – All dimensions must be checked on site and not scaled from this drawing. The lack of measurements on the unscaled drawing itself for the location of the manure heap with reference to other points such as the building makes its actual location uncertain.


Members may recall a previous appeal application for another Equestrian centre (decision 3187660) which had a history of difficulty in enforcement due to its condition terms not being legally certain.


I would be grateful if on site and in committee members could also consider whether or not the manure heap is located as far away as possible from any residential property in the site. In an appeal application 124 metres was considered sufficient but this appears to be less than that distance, with the figure of well over 100 metres mentioned but no actual measurement.

The distance proposed here may be less than 124 metres to the nearest residential property, so should it be sited and conditioned to be further away and does it impact primary elevations and is there substantial screening to the nearest residential property? Questions which may have already been considered at the site meeting or remain outstanding.


Whilst NRW states that there is no legislation in relation to the manure heap not being located close to a soakaway, it does not seem to be a good idea. The general specifications are based on a manure heap being 10m from a watercourse and 50m from a well.


A government advice note states that you must provide adequate storage for manure away from stable area:


It is not clear what storage is here or what should be recommended as it is just shown as a square drawing on the plan?


Presumably the government advice may be due to the fact that large heaps of manure produce both a strong odour and flies which may be of concern to health for both horses so that it is stored away from the stable area and for any occupiers of nearby residential properties, particularly during the summer months if the prevailing wind is in the wrong direction.


It is surprising how much manure the average horse produces, estimated at 45Ibs per horse per day, 51 stone per day for 16 horses or 9 tons per horse per year, resulting in an estimated 144 tons of horse manure per year for 16 horses.


2. Landscaping


Please check on the siting of suitable landscaping in relation to removing the visibility of the manure heap/store from the landscape and from residential properties.


3. Operation hours


I would be grateful if the committee could also consider whether or not they feel the operation hours are suitable.


In terms of operation hours, they are said to be from 6am to 21hours, which will generate extra traffic in a quiet country area with up to 16 vehicles accessing and exiting the site at different times of the day and night due to the 16 horses Please could the committee consider whether or not the opening hours from 7am to 21hours may   be more reasonable and  consideration being given to whether or not  times should be  adjusted to shorter hours in the winter months when it gets darker.


In summary, please could the committee give time and full consideration to the siting of the manure heap, landscaping  and the opening hours of the equestrian centre for  visual and residential amenity EP1 policy  reasons and if this is not possible to deal with in time, to consider a deferral of this application even if just to ensure that the drawing location measurements are precisely defined to avoid any future condition wording and siting enforcement problems, in view of the history of  enforcement problems in relation to a similar issue in decision 3187660.


I have also copied in members of the planning committee in view of the relevance to check on the site visit these issues, as well as for consideration at the committee.’


In noting the detail of the application and the views expressed by the local Member, it was proposed by County Councillor M. Feakins and seconded by County Councillor P. Clarke that application DM/2019/00548 be approved subject to the five conditions, as outlined in the report.


Upon being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded:


For approval              -           9

Against approval      -           0

Abstentions               -           0


The proposition was carried.


We resolved that application DM/2019/00548 be approved subject to the five conditions, as outlined in the report.







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