Certificate of lawfulness and planning applications have been approved simultaneously for a former poultry farm in the Green Belt (21/04/10) south of Birmingham; following a two-pronged strategy recommended by Tetlow King Planning (TKP).
An international company had until recently operated since 1998 without the benefit of planning permission and equally without any enforcement action by the Council. TKP obtained certification that the site had the benefit of over ten years’ usage as a B8 storage and distribution depot; this becoming the starting point for the determination of the new planning application rather than the previous poultry farm use.
The new planning application was for the replacement of five former poultry sheds with a single building to be used for B8 storage and distribution purposes. The proposed new building has a footprint of 5,049 square metres, a net increase of 340 square metres from the existing and was promoted as being essential to the long-term growth of the business.
It was necessary to demonstrate very special circumstances to justify this development all of which were ultimately accepted by both the officers and members of the Council. These included:
- Economic and social benefits. The company is one of the fastest growing businesses across the region and the UK, currently providing over 150 jobs and with potential to expand this to 250 jobs in the short term, to the benefit of the whole locality and in particular the closest settlements. Advantage West Midlands (the Regional Development Agency) was in support; and
- Environmental benefits. Reductions in road miles and carbon emissions; improving the visual appearance of site; and the ability to meet modern hygiene standards.
A further key argument was the lack of alternative sites in the locality that are suitable in configuration or scale; neither of the options of disaggregating or relocating the business being feasible.
The Planning Committee voted unanimously in favour of approving the planning application.