Farmers who kicked up a stink over cow shed delays in successful appeal to Planning Inspectorate (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Farmers who kicked up a stink over cow shed delays in successful appeal to Planning Inspectorate
A COUNTY Durham couple have won a five-year battle to build a new shed on their farm to house cattle in winter after a successful appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.
It means Brian and Janet Sewell will be able to double the size of their suckler herd to 100 cattle at Mill House Farm, Windmill, near Bishop Auckland.
Mr and Mrs Sewell first applied to Teesdale District Council to put up a general purpose livestock building in 2008.
They had already received permission for two sheds, which had been built.
Despite local opposition, planning permission for the third shed was eventually granted by Durham County Council in July 2010, subject to a number of conditions, one of which stated the Sewells had to come up with a scheme for dealing with animal waste from the new building.
The waste management plan was submitted to Durham County Council in May last year. Amended versions were subsequently lodged with the authority in July and September.
The Sewells appealed to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds Durham County Council had taken too long to reach a decision on the waste management plan.
Planning inspector David Cullingford said he had to decide whether the waste management plan would safeguard the quality of life of nearby residents, the closest of whom live within 60m-85m.
He noted that the waste management plan was based on a Defra code of good practice for farmers covering the protection of water, soil and air.
Mr Cullingford took issue with Durham County Council's planners and local residents, who said there was not enough information about when activities likely to lead to increased odour would take place.
He said sticking to the stringent guidelines in the Defra code of practice would provide the necessary reassurance to residents. On that basis, he allowed the appeal.
Mrs Sewell said construction of the new shed would begin as soon as was practicable and hit out at the length of time it had taken to reach a decision.
“I think the system as a whole is a waste of space. At the end of the day, it is a shed on a farm to house cattle in winter.
“They are just playing with people's lives and don't appear to care. No-one at Durham County Council understands agricaulture.”
Durham County Council did not wish to comment on the Planning Inspectorate's decision.