Sandon Bury Farm planning application decision looms

The Sandon Action Group have been fighting against the application to turn Sandon Bury Farm into an

The Sandon Action Group have been fighting against the application to turn Sandon Bury Farm into an events venue. Picture: Sandon Action Group - Credit: Archant

An application to build an events venue at a farm in Sandon is to be decided upon by North Herts District Council on Thursday.

The proposal put to North Herts District Council by Sandon Bury Farm owners seeks to change the use of the agricultural barn to provide a wedding venue.

The application has sparked discussion among the village, with an action group taking a stance against the proposals, sighting employment, planning policy, highways and traffic and noise as key concerns.

Revisions have been made to the original application regarding Grade-II listed buildings – Sandon Bury Farmhouse and the Black Barn – following concerns about suitable access arrangements and protected species.

Other key changes made to the application include a decrease in the maximum number of events per year by half from 150 to 75, insertion of new acoustic enclosure in the Black Barn, reduction in dining capacity from 200 to 150 guests and reduction in overall parking provision.

Mike Ayton, co-chair of the Sandon Action Group, said: “The Sandon Action Group feels that the scheme is both inappropriate and out of scale for its location, is contrary to planning and noise control policy, and will result in significant harm to Sandon village for negligible benefit.

“The applicants claim they have respected the views of the local community in revising the application – this is simply not true.

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“It is for these reasons we are asking local residents to attend the meeting tonight and demonstrate to the committee the widely held and deep-felt objection to this proposal.”

In response to some of the objections raised by the action group, the applicant’s planning consultants sent a letter to NHDC summarising their position.

It states: “Further to the detailed policy assessment made at the committee report there follows a soundly-based professional recommendation of approval subject to prescribed planning conditions. The applicant agrees to the terms of the draft planning conditions.

“The officer concludes in stating there are no sustainable planning objections to the application and recommends that planning permission be granted.”

The planning meeting will take place on Thursday from 7pm at the NHDC council offices in Gernon Road, Letchworth.