Inquiry to be held into refusal to grant permission to build polytunnels in Kings Caple

An inquiry is to be held into a refusal to grant planning permission to erect polytunnels at a Kings Caple farm.

Fruit picking at Pennoxtone Court. Anna Kowalczyk, Neil Cockburn (Standing). Rasma Mielliauskaite, Maria Stach (Kneeling). ENDS Picture By George Burgess 064913-2 (5599664)

First published in News

A PLANNING inspector will decide if polytunnels can be built near Ross-on-Wye.

Herefordshire Council refused Neil Cockburn permission to erect the Spanish polytunnels at Pennoxstone Court Farm in Kings Caple last year.

The 153-hectare site was said to be "too large" and would have a negative impact on surrounding elevated areas.

The polytunnels, Mr Cockburn says, are needed to protect crops and extend the growing season.

The farmer has been engaged in a planning battle with the council since 2006 over the site which lies within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The application, submitted in May 2010, was initially approved, but the decision was quashed at the High Court in London.

Councillors then changed their mind when the proposal was brought back before the planning committee and the application was rejected.

The council now claim that planning control breaches have occurred at the farm within the last four years.

An enforcement notice was therefore delivered to Pennoxstone Court Farm in light of the "unlawful development".

Mr Cockburn is now appealing against both the enforcement notice and the refusal of the application.

He claims the notice was not properly served on everyone with an interest in the land and steps required to comply with the requirements of the notice were "excessive".

Mr Cockburn also believes that the development would only have limited impact on the intrinsic beauty of the AONB.

Both appeals will be heard at Herefordshire Group Training on May 13.


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