COUNTY planners have approved a scheme to expand a cattle farm in the Golden Valley.

John Morgan wants to build a new livestock shed and expand an existing building at the Farmstead, south east of Bage Court in Dorstone.

The parish council supported the scheme but some 22 people objected to it.

Residents are concerned the plans will increase intensive farming in the area, there has been no landscape consultation and approving the scheme would undermine the preceding three appeal decisions at the site.

Ian Pick, Mr Morgan's planning agent, said in a letter to the committee that the plans were for a small extension to an existing agricultural storage building and the erection of a modest cattle shed.

“The farm extends to 350 acres of land and includes arable cropping, beef, sheep and pig rearing enterprises,” he said.

“Much has been made of the site history in objections to this application.

“The applicant has previously made planning applications to develop a poultry farming enterprise on this farm.

“Those proposals were refused planning permission on appeal due to the impact on the landscape of the Golden Valley of poultry buildings of large industrial/utilitarian design.

“As a result of those refusals the applicant has had to abandon his ambitions to engage in poultry farming and has sought to expand and diversify his business through more traditional farming enterprises.”

However, ward councillor Jennie Hewitt told the committee on June 3 that the site was sensitive from visual landscape impact and the plans could affect water quality of the river Dore.

“We need to go and visit the site to understand the environmental impact in order to determine the planning balance and that we need more information,” she said.

“This administration has declared a climate and ecological emergency and has put prioritising of that at the heart of its decision making.”

“Because we don’t have a calculation of runoff from these rooves, we can’t really see what the water management plan is.

“We need to see what is going to happen to that water. Especially in a farmyard where inevitably there is effluent around and the course of the river runs down the side of the farm.”

Councillor Paul Rone proposed approving the plans and said the reason the Golden Valley was so beautiful was because the land is managed by farmers.

“I like to look at things in layman’s terms. What I’m looking at here is we’ve got an application for a farm building of about 470 sq metres on a farm in a historically agricultural area for the purposes of either expanding or upholding the farming enterprise.

“I can see no outcome here other than our support, real support, for a farming family.”

The committee approved the scheme by 13 votes to two.