Building refused at Anne Haydon’s stud
September 29, 2006
A COUNCILLOR who wanted to build a house on the site of her stud farm has seen the application thrown out after the council heard the business was struggling to make a profit.
Bracknell Forest borough councillor Anne Haydon and trustee Charles Hicks had hoped to build the living accommodation for workers at Bewes Stud Farm in Prince Albert Drive, Ascot.
The new building would replace the mobile home currently used by employees.
However, at a meeting of the council’s planning and highways committee last Wednesday, members agreed the proposal fell short of government criteria for sustainable development in rural areas.
The criteria contain five areas which must be met.
* There is an established existing functional need for the building.
* The functional need could not be fulfilled by another building or accommodation in the area which is suitable for the workers.
* Other planning requirements in relation to access or impact on the courtryside according to the local planning authority.
* This need relates to a full-time worker or employee in agriculture and not a part-time position.
* The unit and activity concerned have been established for at least three years and have been profitable for at least one of them and financially sound.
Council officers were not convinced the stud farm could not function properly without the building, although they felt there was a need for a full-time worker on site.
Alternative accommodation, in the shape of the mobile home, was deemed acceptable as it had been agreed by the committee as temporary accommodation on several previous occasions.
Cllr Haydon has owned the stud farm since 1977 but it was also revealed the business had seen no significant investments and was not economically viable.
Some members of the committee argued there was a need for the house to be built, but the majority were in agreement the business was not strong financially.
Cllr David Worrall, chairman of the committee, said: “Originally the stud farm was for breeding but is now also for the care of injured horses.
“According to the report there has been very limited growth in business during that part.
“The stud farm has only been profitable by the fact the applicant has taken a reduction in everything and used capital from another source.
“I do not believe the financial test has been met.”
The committee rejected the application on a vote of six to one, with one abstention.