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Barn allowed on appeal
A FARM owner is to be allowed to keep a barn to hold straw and hay after winning a planning appeal.
Robert Wilson, who owns Highfield Farm in Midgham Road, Fordingbridge, was told by planners that because he doesn’t produce enough of the bales locally the barn must be taken down.
Mr Wilson was granted retrospective planning permission for a DIY livery business in February, to run alongside agricultural activities at the farm, including grazing livestock, growing hay and baling straw.
But planners at New Forest District Council said not enough of the farm is used for that purpose, so his rebuilding of a barn on the site, which had been destroyed in a storm in 2007, would not be allowed under permitted development rules. They also felt the siting of the barn was inappropriate.
Mr Wilson said if the barn had to go it would render almost any agricultural activity at the farm unviable.
Now planning inspector Sara Morgan has agreed, saying the proposed structure would fit in well in the landscape and would support Mr Wilson’s business. She said although the barn was higher and bigger than the previous one it still fitted in.
She added: “The council doubted whether the use of the barn for storage of hay which would be used for the liveries would be an agricultural use.
“Hay when made has to be stored under some form of shelter to prevent it deteriorating, whether it is to be sold to users on site or off-site.
She said: “It is clear from the letters produced by the appellant that livery clients have left because of the lack of facilities for storage of hay and other equipment. That strongly suggests that an important function of the barn would be to provide storage space for the liveries.”
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