Anger after pet hotel plan is recommended for refusal

Pictures of the site at Hybrid Farm in Barroway Drove.

Pictures of the site at Hybrid Farm in Barroway Drove. - Credit: Holt Architectural Ltd

Applicants behind plans for a new pet hotel business in west Norfolk say they 'cannot understand' why the council will not support them, after officials recommended it be refused.

West Norfolk Council's (WNC) planning committee will meet on Monday, September 13 to discuss the Hybrid Farm application in Barroway Drove, near Downham Market, which proposes the demolition of existing buildings and the construction of dwelling and cattery and pet hotel business.

A report published ahead of the meeting, said the proposal fails to comply with the provisions needed and that development in Barroway Drove is restricted unless "required in relation to a rural enterprise or represents infill development".

Pictures of the site at Hybrid Farm in Barroway Drove.

Pictures of the site at Hybrid Farm in Barroway Drove. - Credit: Holt Architectural Ltd

It added: "The applicant has not provided any special justification why countryside protection policies should be relaxed, and the proposal does not meet the criteria to qualify as infill development.

"Whilst the site itself is not currently actively farmed or used for the purposes of agriculture, it should be noted that the site’s lawful use remains as agricultural land."


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In response to the recommendation to refuse, a statement from the applicant's, who did not want to be named, said that they have been working on this project since 2018, and have 'worked to accommodate officer's concerns' since the first application was refused, with the proposed dwelling being redesigned.

Pictures of the site at Hybrid Farm in Barroway Drove.

Pictures of the site at Hybrid Farm in Barroway Drove. - Credit: Holt Architectural Ltd

They added that they have invested in excess of £10,000 in the project, including more than £2,300 to WNC for the latest planning application fee.

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They said due to Covid playing a 'significant part in delays' they are almost three years behind schedule, adding that they 'cannot understand why the council is not seeking to support the establishment of this new rural enterprise, particularly at this time'.

The applicants said they are 'desperate' to move forward with the development and are ready to demolish buildings and clean the site within days of receiving an approval.

Stow Bardolph Parish Council has expressed its support, saying the proposal will 'be beneficial to the village by tidying the site up and making it more visually appealing for the area in general'.

The application will be discussed at next week's meeting.

WNC has been contacted for comment.

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