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Secure building at farm refused

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 16, 2013

By Leslie Jackson

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PLANS to build a secure garage at a property in Bradnop to store cars and garden equipment following two raids have been turned down.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council's planning applications committee refused planning permission for a double garage set into a grass bank at Ashenhurst Hall Farm, in Ashenhurst Lane.

The purpose of the building was to store private cars and garden equipment including a ride on mower and mini tractor, after £6,000 worth of equipment had been stolen from the premises.

In a report to councillors planning officer Rachel Simpkin said: "Permission is sought for the erection of a stone faced, plain clay tiled pitch roof double garage which would be set into a grass bank.

"The garage would broadly measure 9.4 metres (30 feet) in width with an 8.3 metre (27 feet) depth giving a gross floor area of 78 square metres.

"The applicants are concerned that unless equipment is safely locked away, due to the rural location, they may be stolen.

"They have already had equipment stolen on separate occasions, firstly to the value of £5,000 and on a second occasion £1,000."

Councillor Linda Malyon congratulated the owners of Ashenhurst Hall as the work already done on the site was "first class".

She said: "There has been an increase in items stolen at the site.

"Officers say that an agricultural building would be more appropriate, but work done on the site and then to put up a tin shed would look awful.

"We should be helping people who have brought buildings back to life. They have to store equipment on the site."

Councillor Margaret Lovatt said: "The impact and the size would not make a considerable difference to the area. This is a sound application."

Councillor John Fisher said he had walked the footpath near the site, which was in a special landscape area. He said: "I can't approve this today because two protected yew trees would be lost."

Councillor Stephen Ellis said: "I have no issue for the need of the vehicles, but the application has so many things wrong. If the layout was changed and then the applicant came back, the committee would support it."

Councillor Julie Bull said it looked bad on the district council that a Tree Preservation Order had only come into force on the day of the application.

She added: "The hard standing on the site does spoil it.

"If the garage was placed where some of the ground is already dug out there would not be a problem."

Councillors voted by 10 to three to refuse the application.

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