Councillors back showman’s yard extension plans despite advice from experts

PUBLISHED: 14:32 05 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:32 05 September 2014

ECDC

ECDC

Archant

Councillors spurned the advice of experts to approve plans to extend a showman’s yard in Soham.

East Cambridgeshire District Council’s planning committee ruled in favour of applicant Bradley Thurston, giving him the green light to extend his yard, in Long Dolver Drove.

The decision came despite the advice of the council’s planning officers, who had recommended that councillors reject the plans because of an unsatisfactory entrance to the site.

Mr Thurston first applied to the district council in January 2013 for permission to extend the yard and make the space a showman’s yard, storing rides and other showman’s equipment.

But neighbours living on Long Dolver Drove complained to the council about the extra traffic on the road and said extending the site could lead to accidents.

The plans were considered by the planning committee in March last year but councillors decided to defer Mr Thurston’s application in order to give him time to improve the access to his site.

But, leading in to last Wednesday’s meeting, officials said that no work had been done to improve the access and no additional plans have been lodged.

They therefore recommended the plans be brought back before the committee and thrown out.

It was also noted by officials that the council’s planning enforcement department had visited the site and found that vehicles were already being stored there and changes had been made to the land, despite no planning permission having been granted.

Planning officer Ann Caffall, said: “The pragmatic approach which has been shown by the planning committee has enabled the applicant sufficient opportunity to provide an alternative access to this site.

“However as no new application has been submitted, or amendment received, and in view of the extant enforcement notice, Officers are of the opinion that the application should be refused.

“The proposed storage of HGVs, trailers and other vehicles would lead to an intensification of use of the Long Dover Drove/Hasse Road junction where there is inadequate visibility to and from the southwest.

“The proposal would therefore be detrimental to highway safety.”

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