Farm branded “cynical” after re-entering polytunnel plans
07:06 29 January 2014
The owners of a poultry farm which was seen to have flouted planning regulations have been criticised after putting in new plans to save temporary buildings earmarked for removal.
Traditional Norfolk Poultry (TNP), based near Stow Bedon and Breckles, was told by Breckland Council on November 1 last year that it could not keep three polytunnels in which to store chickens after it had put them up in early 2012 without seeking planning permission.
TNP has now reapplied to keep the 19m x 6.8m polythene tunnels on the site to help store more than 20,000 chickens.
The application comes despite an existing enforcement notice ordering it to remove the structures that was first imposed in October 2012 and was due to be enacted by the end of January.
An appeal by TNP to remove the enforcement notice was also refused last year.
Julian Gibson, clerk of Stow Bedon & Breckles Parish Council, accused the farm of “cocking a snoot” at the planning process by trying to force through the plans on a technicality.
“These applications are exact copies of those already rejected by Breckland Council in November 2013,” he said in a letter to the council.
“The applicants have even re-used the self same plans and drawings. The only difference is that they are trying to wriggle through a possible loop-hole, by dressing the application up in the disguise of the Permitted Development Order.
Mr Gibson said the plans should not be accepted as the site is unsuitable for intensive farming and that access is limited.
TNP has already been criticised for damage caused to the 2,000-year-old Peddars Way, which leads to the farm, although it denies causing it.
Mark Gorton, TNP director, said the farm was working with planners to resolve the issues.
“We’re trying to achieve an amicable solution. We’ve spoken to the parish council to hear their concerns and changed the plans accordingly.
“When we first put the polytunnels up it was unclear that they needed planning permission and there are lots of people across the area with them.
“Hopefully this can all be resolved,” he said.
The plans were entered on January 15.
Have you been affected by the plans? Are the farm within their rights to put another application in? Let us know by emailing reporter Andrew Fitchett on firstname.lastname@example.org