Agenda item

19/00317/FUL Woodlands Koi Farm, South Avenue, Langdon Hills, Essex, SS16 6JG


The report was presented by Matthew Gallagher, Principal Planner; the application sought planning permission for the construction of a storage and ancillary workshop building in the north-western corner of the site located in the Green Belt. The purpose of the building was to provide a bio-secure area and a storage area for machinery and equipment associated with Woodlands Koi Farm. The consideration of the harm to the Green Belt and the case of very special circumstances was described in paragraphs 6.21 to 6.39 of the report. Officer’s recommendation was to grant planning permission as the case of very special circumstances clearly outweighed the identified harm to the Green Belt.


(Councillor Lawrence arrived 18.09)


(Councillor Lawrence was unable to participate in this item following the Constitution, Chapter 5, Part 3, 13.5).


The Chair opened the item to the Committee for questions.


Steve Taylor was sympathetic to the Applicant’s case but stated that the site was on Green Belt. Regarding the history of the site, he questioned if there were conditions to prevent building more than 1 building on the site in the future as he was concerned this could be a possibility. In response, Matthew Gallagher said that planning conditions were in place and that the building would be a new one on the site that was Green Belt but the building was needed for the business as the Applicant had stated. On the suggested condition number 3 on page 115, the use of the building would be restricted to fish breeding purposes only and condition number 6 on page 116 would remove the usual permitted development rights.


Referring to the site’s history in paragraph 3, Steve Taylor sought reassurance in that the site would not be used for other purposes should the business not fare well in the future. Matthew Gallagher answered that the description of the proposal provided by the Applicant was clear and that the proposal should be determined on its merits and in light of relevant development plan policies and other material considerations. He explained that if the use of the building was changed in the future, it would be a breach of planning conditions which would likely result in enforcement action being undertaken.


Councillor Rice felt the report was detailed well and would be supporting Officer’s recommendation. He voiced his support for local businesses. Agreeing with this, Councillor Byrne asked if the proposals would be different if the fish were trout instead. Pointing out that the point made was valid, Matthew Gallagher answered that the site was established for ornamental fish which was koi and carp.


With no further questions from the Committee, the Chair invited speakers to address the Committee.


Mr John Cross, Applicant, presented his statement in support of the application.


The Chair opened the item up to the Committee for debate.


Councillor Rice reiterated that he would be supporting the application and thought the planning conditions attached were good. He was also pleased to hear from the speaker that the business would employ more workers once the building was in place.


Agreeing, the Chair said it was good to support local rural businesses.


The Officer’s recommendation to grant planning permission was proposed by Councillor Rice and seconded by Councillor Churchman.


(Councillor Lawrence was unable to participate in this item following the Constitution, Chapter 5, Part 3, 13.5).


For: (7) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Mike Fletcher (Vice-Chair), Gary Byrne, Colin Churchman, David Potter, Gerard Rice and Sue Sammons.


Against: (0)


Abstained: (0)


The planning application 19/00317/FUL, Woodlands Koi Farm, was granted planning permission following Officer’s recommendation.

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