Farmers' plans to build new farm house on their own green belt land recommended for rejection

Plans to build a new farm house on a site near Wetherby are set to go back before planning decision-makers next week.

Plans to build a new farm house on a site near Wetherby are set to go back before planning decision-makers next week.
Plans to build a new farm house on a site near Wetherby are set to go back before planning decision-makers next week.

Blueprints submitted to Leeds City Council, which had originally gone before councillors back in May, involve building a four-bedroom detached house with a double garage on a greenbelt site off Trip Lane, Linton.

The applicants, who run Lilac Farm in Collingham, claim their current rented farmhouse is under threat of development, and that they need to build a new house on their own land sooner rather than later.

But council officers said they know of no such plans for development, and recommended the plans be rejected, as they were on green belt land.

Members of the panel did not come to an agreement on the site during the May meeting, as they felt they needed more information.

A new report into the plans, set to go before the panel next week, said the plans should still be refused, due to it being an “inappropriate development in the green belt” and that no special circumstances outweighed this.

The report added: “The proposed dwelling would clearly afford the owners of the farm greater certainty, quality of life and some notable operational benefits for the agricultural business.

“The applicant and their agent have clearly articulated the rationale and desire for the new dwelling. However, whilst there is understanding and sympathy for the applicant’s case ultimately the proposal needs to be considered against the terms of planning policy.

“It is clear that the proposal constitutes inappropriate development in the Green Belt.”

It claimed that this meant there was a “presumption against the grant of planning permission” unless “very special circumstances” could be demonstrated.

The applicants had stated that their reasons for wanting to build were partly due to uncertainty over the future redevelopment of their current home, which was rented from landowners.

But the council document continued: “No timescale is given for this, how this will be secured, no indication is given as to the nature of the proposals and no indication is given to what arrangements if any will be made to accommodate the needs of the applicant.

“Accordingly, it is very difficult to quantify the actual threat to the existing farm house accommodation.”

“The officer recommendation remains that planning permission be refused. However, it is accepted that this is a difficult case and the merits of the case have been well articulated by the applicant and their representative and it clearly falls with the panel to carefully consider and weigh all of the material planning considerations before coming to a decision on the application.”

A previous report which went before decision-makers in May claimed locals and campaign groups were against the plans, but that the farmers had support for the proposals from a farming union.

Applicant Sally-Anne Kilby had told that meeting: “We have lived in Collingham and operated out of Lilac Farm for 54 years. We currently have in excess of 468 acres of land in Collingham, Linton and Shadwell.

“It’s always been made difficult by the fact we are under a tenancy for our yard and farmhouse in the centre of Collingham, which can be severed by our landlord at a short three month notice.”

She said they had received written confirmation from the estate that they would be putting together “detailed proposals for the site”.

Councillors on the plans panel soon came to the view that they did not have enough information to make a decision.

The report was deferred for council officers to get more information on the application.

A decision is expected to be made at a meeting of the panel on Thursday, October 14.