WISBECH ST MARY: Council refuses two couples' plans for 16-acre smallholding
TWO couples hoping to create a smallholding in a Fenland village have been told their business plans simply don t add up. Agricultural consultant Peter Chillingworth was called in by Fenland District Council to help decide if an option to create the small
TWO couples hoping to create a smallholding in a Fenland village have been told their business plans simply don't add up.
Agricultural consultant Peter Chillingworth was called in by Fenland District Council to help decide if an option to create the smallholding on a 16-acre site in Wisbech St Mary looked viable.
But he concluded that on the basis of the plans and budgets submitted the business would not support them.
It has led to the council refusing to allow Claire Bartram and her brother Chris to develop the field they bought last year.
They had hoped to put a mobile home on the field, an office, two stables, a chick nursery, chicken shed, glass house, two polytunnels and kennels.
The site is outside the development boundary for the village and attracted opposition from the parish council, which reminded planners that numerous complaints had been made in the past.
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Three villagers also wrote in to object, mainly complaining about noise from existing dogs on the site and the likelihood of more noise if kennels were allowed. The Environment Agency objected on potential flood risk.
The Bartrams' agent, Peter Humphrey, said they had hoped to develop a sustainable horticultural and livestock business with the help of their respective partners.
"Each has a range of experience and skills that will help to make this new venture viable," he said. "They are all committed to making the business successful in the long term."
Planners heard that the previous owner had won consent for a fishing lake on the site and Mr Humphrey said the new owners were developing it as a coarse fish breeding centre. Later they had hoped to breed Suffolk Punches and Welsh Cobs.