Decision delayed on changes at South Norfolk equestrian centre

An aerial view of Anvil Park Stud, located at Overa House Farm on the banks of the River Thet. 

An aerial view of Anvil Park Stud, located at Overa House Farm on the banks of the River Thet. - Credit: Google

Councillors have voted to defer their decision on whether to grant retrospective permission for several changes already made at a Norfolk equestrian centre - on the grounds that they did not have enough information. 

Anvil Park Stud at Overa House Farm, in Larling, had applied for retrospective permission to host quiz nights and social events, as well as changing part of its indoor riding school to a café, the erection of six stables, and a raft of other alterations. 

Planning officers had recommended the changes be approved, but also suggested that 11 conditions be attached, covering areas such as contamination, lighting, and noise level restrictions.

Sarah Gosling, chairman of the Roudham and Larling Parish Council, unhappy at the proposed plans for

Larling and Roudham Parish Council chair Sarah Gosling - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Sarah Gosling, chair of Roudham and Larling Parish Council, who was also speaking on behalf of Quidenham Parish Council, said: “This applicant has prior history of continuing to carry out unauthorised activities and submit retrospective planning applications, yet there are no consequences to any of these breaches of planning law.”

A representative from Agora Architects, serving as agent to the applicant, said: “Some of these works had to be carried out and couldn't wait - so that was repairs to the riverbank, to raise the ground level so that the site wouldn’t flood, to protect the livestock on the site.”

He said the PA and lighting systems were in the process of being designed in such a way as to limit disturbance, and they were happy to accept conditions on the systems enforced by the council. 

Local district councillor Sarah Suggitt said: “I am concerned that the activities are continuing to take place and we are aiming to determine retrospective matters on a sensitive site that is seeking to develop further.”

Sarah Suggitt, Breckland Council's cabinet member for contracts

Local Conservative district councillor Sarah Suggitt - Credit: Gary Donnison Photography 2021

She added: “I firmly believe the 11 conditions recommended proves we do not have enough information to determine this application responsibly.”

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But a Breckland planning officer said there was nothing wrong with retrospective planning applications and added: “We’ve been to site, we’ve assessed the development as acceptable, but we’ve invited a planning application on the basis that [it] allows us to apply conditions to regularise that development and then those conditions can be monitored and enforced.” 

Councillors voted nonetheless to defer their decision to arrange a visit to the equestrian centre. 

The committee also decided to defer a separate application from the centre to put up four holiday cabins on the site, because they were still awaiting a flood risk assessment. 

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