TBAG are delighted to announce the decision of the Government Planning Inspectorate Inspector, Mr William Fieldhouse, to dismiss the application for the demolition of agricultural buildings and erection of four ‘executive’ dwelling houses on this Metropolitan Green Belt farm site. The Inspector confirmed that the lawful use of the site is agricultural and commented that “it seems clear that the appellant has no intention of using his land for that purpose.” TBAG has been of the same mind for several years now. Read the full Decision here.
Around a dozen TBAG supporters, including three members of the TBAG Committee, attended the Planning Inspectorate’s Appeal hearing for the Blunt’s Farm application to develop the Green Belt farmyard into an enclave of four executive 5 bedroom houses. Also supporting the village in opposition to the development were three representatives from the Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society and one local Councillor. The Appellant, Mark Swan was joined by a team of four professionals, including a QC, to defend their corner. The hearing started at 10am.
TBAG were of course there to defend the Green Belt in Theydon Bois from inappropriate development and all Committee members and some supporters spoke up, often making compelling arguments. The hearing went on until 15:05 when it was adjourned to reconvene at a site meeting on Blunt’s Farm. Three members of the TBAG Committee and one from the Rural Pres were given permission by the landowners to attend the site meeting. From the proposed site it is apparent that the first floors and roof lights of any new dwellings would look clearly over the village and conversely, the village will clearly see the proposed buildings on the horizon, especially at night.
The hearing officially closed at 4:30 and TBAG now await the Inspector’s decision which will be published in around three weeks time.
A second and revised application to replace a farm house and build three new executive size houses on the site of existing agricultural barns at Blunts Farm (EPF/2468/12) was this evening on the Agenda at the Planning East Sub-Committee meeting at Civic Offices in Epping. Surprisingly, the application was recommended for approval by the Planning Case Officer. A planning agent spoke on behalf of the Applicant. There were two speakers in opposition to the application, the Chair of the Theydon Bois Parish Council Planning Committee and a member of the TBAG Committee. Sound and clear arguments were put forward by both objectors to demonstrate how this application was contrary to several paragraphs of planning policy documents both national and local. After due consideration, Councillors unanimously voted to refuse this revised application for a housing development on Metropolitan Green Belt land as being sufficiently contrary to current planning legislation and the inevitable intrusion into the Theydon Bois Dark Sky Policy.