QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF RANSON||(CLAIMANT)|
|THE FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE||(FIRST DEFENDANT)|
|FOREST HEATH DISTRICT COUNCIL||(SECOND DEFENDANT)|
Smith Bernal Wordwave Limited
190 Fleet Street London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7831 8838
(Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR P COPPEL (instructed by THE TREASURY SOLICITOR) appeared on behalf of the FIRST DEFENDANT
THE SECOND DEFENDANT WAS NOT REPRESENTED AND DID NOT ATTEND
Crown Copyright ©
"The residential accommodation hereby permitted together with Green Lodge and other staff accommodation, stabling and other facilities as indicated edged in red upon the submitted drawings shall be considered as a single planning unit and shall not be occupied or operated separately or independently at any time."
"2. I consider that there are three main issues in this case. The first is the effect of removing condition 4 on the operation of the training establishment and the local horse racing industry. The second is the implications for the living conditions of future occupiers of Green Lodge in terms of noise and disturbance. The third is the effect of the proposal on the character or appearance of the Newmarket Conservation Area.
"Even so, the independent occupation of the principal house and its potential loss to an owner with no active interest in horse racing would to some extent diminish the stock of suitable accommodation available to the industry in Newmarket. In this respect I consider that the proposal would represent a loss of one type of accommodation and cause some harm to the local horse racing industry. It would thus be contrary to Local Plan policy 12.6. My conclusion on the first main issue is therefore that the balance is in favour of retaining the occupancy restriction on Green Lodge."
"On the second main issue I conclude that the proposal would give rise to noise and disturbance associated with the proximity of the training activities which would harm the living conditions of future occupiers of Green Lodge."
"On the third main issue, having regard to my duty under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, I conclude that the removal of condition 4 would have no material effect on the character and appearance of the conservation area. It would not therefore conflict with Structure Plan policy ENV1 and Local Plan policy 8.17 or PPG15."
"My conclusion on the third issue favours the proposal. However, the effect of removing condition 4 on the operation of the training establishment and the local horse racing industry, and the implications for the living conditions of nearby occupiers, provide compelling reasons why planning permission should not be granted."
"I have noted the full information supplied by both the appellant and the council relating to the history of Green Lodge and the stables, though I do not consider the detailed background of early ownership to be particularly relevant to the future of the property. While I accept that Green Lodge was originally part of a much larger training complex, on the basis of the evidence available to me it does seem likely that the house has always had a connection with the rest of the training establishment. For this reason and because of the physical relationship between Green Lodge and the stables I consider that the council are justified in treating the appeal site as a single planning unit."
"However, I am not aware of all the financial details of this scheme and I note that the approval granted under [the 1999 permission] is not in any case personal to the appellant."
" ... only about 17 people in the horse racing world who would be wealthy enough and with a need for some 20-40 horses in training who would be likely to show an interest in Sefton Lodge. It is also by no means certain that the accommodation ... would suit [them anyway]".
" ... would to some extent diminish the stock of accommodation available to the horse racing industry in the town as a whole."
But he did not think that a sufficient basis in that case to refuse permission.
"However, in the case of Green Lodge the house directly abuts the training yard and its eastern and northern walls form the boundary of the yard. Indeed it seems probable that the house was specifically designed to overlook the yard in a supervisory manner. I note the appellant's acceptance that if noise were thought to be a sensitive issue double or triple glazing would be a possibility."