Use of part of the site for the stationing of 3 caravans for use as ancillary horticultural worker accommodation and their storage off season.
Additional information was reported on the agenda update sheet relating to: an amended description, additional supporting information from the applicant confirming the provision of parking on site, and that the occupation of the caravans was required until the end of November. The update sheet also confirmed that it was not necessary to obtain a contribution to the recreational disturbance scheme, for temporary planning permission, but should an application for a permanent grant of planning permission be made, a contribution would be required at that stage. An additional condition was recommended that within three months of the date of the decision, there would be the provision of four car parking spaces, an amendment to conditions regarding the use of land for human habitation and storage of caravans which would cease at the end of three years and the land restored to its former condition. Further amendment to conditions required details regarding secure and covered cycle parking to be submitted to the Council for approval, and that the caravans must only to be occupied by a person employed in agriculture, and none of accommodation to be occupied other than between 1 February and 30 November.
The following member of the public addressed the committee:
Miss L Santos - Applicant
The Chairman confirmed the application was before the committee due to an objection from the Parish Council and noted that there was no representative from the parish.
During the discussion Members debated whether there was a requirement for 18 agricultural workers on the site and if those workers were being taken to other sites. Members further debated whether the caravans would be visible from the road, if retail sales would take place on the site, and if the lease was four years, the reason for planning permission being sought for three years. Mrs Stevens responded that officers had no evidence that workers were living on the site and working at other locations, and that it would not be reasonable to have a condition tying workers to this site only. There were currently two caravans on the site and this would increase to three, there was no indication of retail activity, there was a possibility that ancillary sales could take place, but otherwise an application for a change of use would be required. . There were permitted development rights for caravans to be on site, and the only reason for requiring planning permission was that they were not being moved during the winter period. With regards to the four year lease, Mrs Stevens explained that three years is usually the period provided, and with the opportunity to apply for a further temporary period, should the lease be extended, or the business grow or for permanent permission if justified. In response to a further question, Mrs Stevens responded that the reason for the caravans to remain ‘on site’, was likely to be due to a lack of available storage land, and leaving the caravans on site would be the most economical option. If there were concerns that the caravans were being occupied in the winter months, Planning Enforcement could review and take action if necessary.
Recommendation to Permit agreed.