Developers submitted plans in 2021 for land adjacent to Laverick Hall Farm in the West Boldon area.
The proposals to South Tyneside Council’s planning department included changing the use of land from “agricultural/grazing” to land for the “keeping, breeding and recreational use of horses”.
This included building a stable block and a hay store/tack room, the planting of native hedgerow around the field, and the creation of a hard-surfaced area.
Access was also proposed to be taken from the unadopted road Laverick Lane via a gated access that serves the field and nearby residential properties.
According to planning documents, applicants maintained that no change of use was occurring as the land had been used for the keeping of horses for more than 10 years.
However planners stated there was no “lawful equestrian use established on this site, and that the current established lawful use of the site is agricultural.”
During consultation on the plans concerns were raised by neighbours, with nine addresses lodging objections to the proposals as originally submitted.
Concerns included the impact on properties on the Laverick Hall Farm Estate in terms of increased traffic, access issues, parking, noise and loss of privacy.
Other concerns raised included impacts on the green belt, disruption during construction and security concerns.
After considering all representations, South Tyneside Council’s planning department refused the stable block application on January 21, 2022.
The main reason for refusal included the impact on the green belt, with the stables plan classed as “inappropriate development” on the protected land.
Planners noted that the stable block was a structure of “substantial scale and massing” and said the overall development would result in a “permanent change from an existing green field, altering the established character of the area.”
A planning decision report reads: “The proposed development does not fall within the exceptions in Paragraph 149 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
“National planning policy dictates that the proposal is therefore inappropriate development which is by definition harmful to the green belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.
“After consideration of all matters material to this case it is concluded that very special circumstances do not exist to clearly outweigh the harm caused by inappropriate development in the green belt, and the harm that would be caused to the openness and permanence of the Green Belt as a result of the proposed use, buildings, and associated infrastructure.”
The planning decision report also confirmed that plans for stable buildings on the land had been refused by the council in 2008 and 2012, with the applications later dismissed by planning inspectors in appeals.
In both cases, impacts on South Tyneside’s green belt were listed among the council’s reasons for refusal.
Applicants have the right to challenge the latest planning decision from the council by lodging an appeal with the Secretary of State.
For more information on the application and council ruling, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference: ST/0315/21/FUL