Issue - meetings

23/00523/OP Land East Of Ashmill Poultry Farm, High Street, Barkway, Hertfordshire

Meeting: 07/03/2024 - Planning Control Committee (Item 184)



Outline planning permission for the erection of 6 no. dwellings with access, parking and associated works (all matters reserved except for access)(as amended by plans received on 22 May 2023).

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That application 23/00523/OP be REFUSED planning permission subject to the reasons and conditions set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager.


Audio recording – 6 minutes 3 seconds


The Planning Officer gave a verbal update and advised that a recent email received on 4 March regarding elements of public access had now been fully considered.  It was also noted that the document dated 21 December 2023 was originally not on the Council website, but had recently been added.


The Planning Officer presented the report in respect of Application 23/00523/OP supported by a visual presentation consisting of photographs and plans.


The Chair invited Mr Sandy Gordon to speak against the application.  Mr Gordon thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation, including that:


·                    The area was a heritage point of historical interest.

·                    The new houses, even though set back, would cause a loss of privacy due to all rooms being next to the road. There is slight privacy to the rear of the properties.

·                    His whole garden would be overlooked by property 1, which backs onto his house. The field is 1 metre higher than his property, imposing on the area.

·                    The gable end of the new house would cause loss of light, mostly around midday and early evening.

·                    The area was good for wildlife and recently more wildlife had been witnessed including badgers, deer, foxes, bees nests, frogs toads and newts.

·                    Many concerns had been raised about the smell from the adjacent poultry farm.


In response to a point of clarification from Councillor David Levett, Mr Gordon confirmed:


·                    His house was a Grade 2 listed building. 

·                    The odour from the poultry farm was strongest around 7 times per year when the area was fully cleared and the smell was worse on damp, rainy days, rather than in Summer.


The Chair thanked Mr Gordon for his presentation and invited Councillor Gerald Morris to speak against the application. Councillor Morris thanked the Chair for the opportunity and provided the Committee with a verbal presentation including that:


·                     It was considered the site was unsuitable and not in the local plan.

·                    Recently the area had been cleared of natural planting leaving a superficial cover to remain.

·                    This development was not necessary for North Herts housing needs, and Planning Officers had also objected.

·                    Previous applications for the Ashmill Poultry Farm site had been refused for similar reasons. 

·                    There were concerns over the proximity of the Poultry Farm to local business, places of employment, and to where people will live.


The Chair thanked Councillor Morris for his presentation and invited Mr Shane Ahern, the applicant, to speak. Mr Ahern thanked the chair for the opportunity and provided the committee with a verbal presentation, including that:


·                    The site in Barkway was currently scrubland and had been earmarked for development.

·                    The development would consist of six houses, including one affordable home for key workers only.

·                    The site plan had been designed with heritage as a consideration by an expert and had been submitted with a written air quality guidance.

·                    The adjacent poultry farm was cleared and cleaned seven times per year. The odour  ...  view the full minutes text for item 184