Plan to build homes on Clifton on Dunsmore farmyard is thrown out by councillors

The decision was made earlier this week

Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:45 am
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 9:46 am
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A farmer’s plan to relocate their Clifton upon Dunsmore farmyard to a more suitable location is in doubt after an application to build houses on the existing site was thrown out.

Members of Rugby Borough Council’s planning committee this week, June 23, rejected plans for five dwellings at Magpie Lodge Farmyard, on Lilbourne Road, because future residents would have been too reliant on their cars.

Planning officer Jo Walton explained why councillors were recommended to refuse planning permission.

In her report she said: “In the opinion of the local planning authority, having regard to the location of the development outside of the village boundary of Clifton Upon Dunsmore being sited within the countryside, the proposal would result in a development which would result in future residents being heavily reliant on the private car to access services and facilities as well as employment which in turn fails to mitigate and adapt to climate change and support moving to a low carbon economy.”

Cllr Alistair Robinson, from Clifton-upon-Dunsmore Parish Council, spoke against the plans at the meeting. He said: “The site is nearly a mile from the village which has grown inside its natural boundaries for centuries and which remains a rural village protected by green space from the urban area.

“The proposal would set a precedent of new builds in a rural agricultural site next to a listed building of some importance.”

Former borough councillor Leigh Hunt, who represented the Clifton area prior to the May elections, had also voiced her concerns within the officer’s report, explaining that her objections were on the grounds of it being an inappropriate development in a rural area which was also an unsustainable location. She also said the farm buildings had been incorrectly described.

Planning agent Andrew Gore, speaking on behalf of client, said the plan was to relocate the farmyard to another site on the farm.

He said: “The officer’s report is thorough and well argued. However, one area where the report is unfortunately silent is in respect of the landowner’s current farming circumstances.

“It has been recommended by DEFRA that the existing farm buildings that are the subject of the application are not suitable for their current farming purpose. They are in a poor state of repair and not currently safe for livestock or people attending the animals.

“The sale of the existing farmyard and buildings for the erection of the five houses would facilitate this relocation.”

Councillors were only considering the layout and access along with the principle of development with other matters being subject to a future application but they agreed with the officer’s recommendation and unanimously refused permission.