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Fourth time unlucky for Stone farmer fighting to keep unauthorised building

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

By Kerry Ashdown

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A SHEEP farmer near Stone has lost his battle against Stafford Borough Council to keep a building used for lambing and feed storage.

The building at Hartwell Farm, Barlaston, was originally intended as a garage and was erected without planning permission, a report to the council’s planning committee said.

Three applications to keep the 5m high brick structure, as garage, then a modified foaling stable and later a garage, were refused between August 2010 and October 2012. Two planning appeals were also dismissed, on the grounds it was inappropriate for the Green Belt.

On Thursday farmer Tim Warren saw a fourth application to retain the building, this time for agricultural use, turned down by the planning committee, after it had been recommended for refusal by planning officers.

Speaking after the meeting he said he had yet to decide whether to pursue another appeal or not.

The committee was told the building was to be used as a store for hay for the majority of the year, and for corn fodder for sheep in winter months as well as caring for any problem lambs or sheep during lambing.

Mr Warren has approximately 180 Texel ewes and 350 lambs on the holding and lambing is due to begin in February. It normally takes place in a paddock at the front of the property.

The building, which includes a chimney, has “a very domestic appearance” the meeting was told. It was built on the site of a former farm workers’ home.

Greg Mitchell, speaking on behalf of Mr Warren at the meeting, said: “He operates an agricultural business from a stud farm and in the winter sheep farming is the main priority.

“A building at Heyfields Nursing Home, used for agricultural storage, has had to be demolished and there is no other suitable building for this use on the site.”

Barlaston borough councillor and parish council chairman Gareth Jones said: “The parish council have no objection to the application. It is their view the agricultural building should continue to stand there.”

Councillor Frank James said: “If the chimney is removed I don’t see why we can’t accept this.”

But Councillor Barry Stamp said: “I have some sympathy with the applicant but when you see it was built without planning permission, the various applications to keep the building and the various refusals I have to say I’m not in favour of it.

Councillor Maureen Bowen added: “If we permit this it just makes a mockery of previous committee meetings.”

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