2018/19 Rural Business Awards finalists
We are delighted to announce that we are finalists for the 2018/19 Rural Business Awards in the South East Rural Professional Service Business category!
NEW ARRIVAL TO BLOOMFIELDS
Bloomfields is pleased to announce the latest addition to the team. Former Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Planning Officer, Charlotte van de Wydeven arrives with literally a world of experience, having joined us from her planning role in New Zealand. Welcome Charlotte!
EXPANSION OF A FARM HUB WITH THE PROVISION OF AN ADDITIONAL BARN AND 15 MOBILE HOMES
Using the 28 day prior notification procedure, Bloomfields was able to get confirmation that Prior Approval was not required to erect an agricultural barn on a farm in Kent. This has added to the infrastructure already on site to allow further storage of agricultural machinery.
In addition to this, an application was submitted to the Council to recognise that 15 mobile homes (in addition to 20 already on site) could lawfully be kept on site to accommodate agricultural workers. This subsequently approved proposal will be invaluable for the management of local orchards, which are of paramount importance to the continued provision of British grown apples and pears to the general public.
The approach undertaken in both cases utilised methodologies that make the planning process quicker and easier than pursuing the full planning application route.
It is always pleasing to see progress being made on buildings after Bloomfields has obtained planning permission and equally pleasing when your efforts are recognised by others. It was a welcome surprise therefore, to get a mention in the June edition of South East Farmer magazine by the Scorpion Building team who are building the 10,000 bin cold store facility for our fruit-farming client. Great to see photos of the project underway.
APPROVAL FOR NINE HOMES IN AONB
Following previous approval for two homes at a former agricultural site on top of the Kent Downs, approval has been obtained for a further seven new homes. These nine new homes will be set within an attractive rural landscape, which forms part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We continue to work with our client to ensure that these homes can be delivered in a manner which preserves the character of the area.
10HA OF POLYTUNNELS APPROVED
Bloomfields has successfully gained permanent consent for an additional 10ha of polytunnels on a greenfield site. The application was submitted with significant agricultural justification and the supporting analysis of drainage, ecology and transport issues which ensured that there were no objections to the proposal from the Local Authority or the County Council and a temporary consent was not required in the first instance.
The level of detail in the supporting information that was provided by Bloomfields ensured that the amount of pre-commencement conditions was also limited.
APPEAL ALLOWED TO REMOVE CONDITION WITH FULL AWARD OF COSTS
Bloomfields prepared an application to seek the removal of a planning condition requiring the demolition of a building if its permitted use was to cease. The application was made as the condition was considered to be unreasonable and unenforceable, as well as irrelevant to the development concerned. More importantly for the client, the condition limited the lending security for the business.
Despite being recommended for approval by the Council’s planning officer, Committee members sought to overturn the decision and refused the application. Bloomfields appealed the application and prepared the necessary supporting documents as part of this, including the preparation of an appeal statement and a Statement of Common Ground.
After lodging the appeal, Bloomfields counter argued the Council’s Statements before managing the team of consultants to be involved in the hearing.
Bloomfields presented evidence at the hearing, working with the client’s barrister to clarify points where necessary.
In his decision, the Inspector concluded: “the reasoning behind the imposition of the condition confused the effect of the presence of the building with the effect of its use. It [The Council] was unable to substantiate its position on the main issue because the condition was untenable and its imposition irrational. I find that the Council was unreasonable in refusing to remove the condition. Accordingly, I conclude that unnecessary or wasted expense, as described in the PPG, has been demonstrated and that therefore a full award of costs is justified.”
Result – happy client equals happy team.
9HA OF POLYTUNNELS APPROVED WITH ECOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENTS FOR SSSI
Bloomfields has successfully gained permanent consent for 9ha of polytunnels on a greenfield site adjacent to a SSSI river.
An Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Opinion was submitted prior to the design and submission for the sensitive development, in order to ensure that no adverse impact would occur. Following on from this, an application was designed to provide ecological enhancements to the adjacent SSSI habitat and species, with land being set aside specifically for this purpose by the soft fruit farmer.
The application was submitted with a robust agricultural justification and analysis of drainage, ecology and transport issues. This supporting information ensured that there were no objections to the proposal from the Local Authority or the County Council.
The additional 9ha of polytunnels will allow one of the top soft fruit farmers in the country to expand their production further and continue their success in the soft fruit industry. The long term management of the ecological enhancements will also provide the farm with further experience of alternative land management practices.
5,000M2 OF DEVELOPMENT APPROVED TO SUPPORT THE EXPANSION OF A BUSINESS
Bloomfields has met its client’s requirement to obtain planning approval for a storage facility and yard extension within a required timeframe. This has made applying for grant funding possible. This is not only a fantastic planning achievement for the team and the client’s business but one which has the potential to significantly reduce the build cost of the project, if funding is approved.
Bloomfields advised on the specialist consultants needed to get support for the major application and worked very closely with the Council to ensure that they had all the information required to issue a positive recommendation within the necessary time-frame. A comprehensive justification was needed to support the planning case, whilst an understanding of ecological, drainage, noise and transport matters was vital in this application.