Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Farm plan to convert buildings rejected

A FARM in Charvil has been refused permission to change the use of agricultural land and buildings.

Belcher Farms, which has owned Newlands Farm since 2007, wanted to create areas suitable for industrial use.

Some of the buildings are already occupied by businesses, including a used car showroom and a windows company.

Wokingham Borough Council, the planning authority, rejected the application on the grounds of inappropriate development in the countryside.

Residents and Charvil Parish Council had objected, saying the area was a flood risk and the potential increase in traffic would put children and cyclists using the busy A4 at risk.

The farm is on the northern side of New Bath Road and accessed via Loddon Drive, a private road.

The application said: “The buildings are no longer fit for their intended purpose. The re-use of these buildings provides additional accommodation for business, thereby enabling the growth and expansion of business within the rural area. It would also enable the development and diversification of the agricultural business.

“The majority of Newlands Farm would remain within agricultural use as the proposal only concerns a small area to the south of the site. The proposal consists of an acceptable use in the countryside.”

In its decision notice, the borough council said: “By virtue of the additional built form, encroachment of stored items, the expanse of hard-paved parking and parking for customers and staff, the proposal to retain the existing site in industrial use represents inappropriate development in the countryside.

“It results in adverse harm to the character of the area and detracts from the openness of the countryside. 

“The site is not within convenient walking distance of retail facilities and public transport, with the local bus service not meeting the definition of a good service.

“This would result in high dependence on private vehicle use for staff and customers and an unsustainable development.”

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