A farm has won planning permission to use two agricultural buildings for commercial storage despite the fears of two parish councils the site was being turned into “an industrial estate by stealth”.

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Councillors initially voted yesterday to throw out plans for two of the 15 buildings that make up Camp Farm in Roudham, between Thetford and Attleborough, to be used to store shop fittings for a major retailer.

However, committee members were forced to change their minds just minutes later after planning officers and a solicitor for Breckland Council warned them they did not have valid grounds to reject the proposals, and the council would be likely to lose a costly appeal.

Roudham and Larling Parish Council said the farm still had substantial acreage but could end up with no buildings left for agricultural use, which it feared would prompt planning applications for more agricultural buildings in the open countryside which could then also be converted to commercial use.

Bridgham Parish Council also repeated its objections to previous similar planning applications.

Planning officers said the retrospective planning application was part of a farm diversification scheme, and the applicant’s agent said the buildings were redundant for agricultural purposes.

A previous change of use application for six of the buildings was refused on appeal in 2007, but one building was allowed to become a hemp processing plant the same year, and in March this year the council allowed four buildings to change from agricultural to commercial storage usage.




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