Thursday, 28 October 2021

Owner fails to prove business site use had existed for last 10 years

A BUSINESS in Remenham which was branded noisy and disruptive by neighbours has been refused retrospective planning permission.

The owner of Richard Hall Groundworks, a tree and site clearance business at White Hill Farm off Church Lane, had applied for a certificate of lawful use.

Richard Ballantyne Hall said the site had been used for ground maintenance, forestry, tree husbandry, use of machinery and vehicles and the use of a storage container as an office for at least the last 10 years.

This would mean the business would be eligible for a certificate but a previous application was refused last year.

Neighbours have objected to the scale of operations at the site, claiming it had become much busier in the last three years. They say the increased activity has led to a rise in  noise and excess traffic on Church Lane.

Andrew Walley, who lives in Church Lane, said: “The scale of activity in question is relatively recent and has not been going on for 10 years.

“This high level of activity generates unacceptable noise for neighbours as well as increased heavy traffic on Church Lane which is a hazard for residents as well as damaging to the roadside verges.”

Alison Peters, of Remenham Hill, said: “There are multiple comments from local people with photographic evidence that clearly shows that this site has not been used continuously for 10 years.”

Maureen McLaughlin added: “I believe from living so close to the site in question that the increased activity has only been evident in the last three years or so.

Since about 2014 the activities have considerably intensified and are the cause of much noise and disturbance. Prior to that there was little of this type of activity.”

Mr Hall said he started the business in 2003 and has documents to prove he has used machinery, heavy goods vehicles and a storage container as an office for at least the last 10 years.

Several employees and neighbouring businesses also backed up his claims.

But Wokingham Borough Council refused the application, saying Mr Hall had failed to demonstrate that the land had been used for those purposes for 10 years or more.

Enforcement action could now be taken against the business.

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