Decision deferred on building stables on St Albans community meadow
- Credit: Archant
The decision on whether to allow stables to be built on a community meadow in St Albans has been deferred by the council’s planning referrals committee.
CALA Homes, which owns the meadow, has long campaigned to build stables and road access on Bedmond Field, off Bedmond Lane, to make it a suitable place for horses to graze.
The meadow has been listed as an asset of community value (ACV) since 2014. CALA Homes challenged the meadow’s ACV status at the Court of Appeal in February but were unsuccessful.
In a meeting on Monday, November 12, the council’s planning referrals committee chose to defer the decision and ask for more information about the proposals.
Timothy Beecroft, chair of Verulam Residents’ Association, said: “As happened in 2015 when an identical application was submitted, and, more than a year later, eventually refused, the question of what happens to Bedmond Lane Field has been kicked into the long grass.
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“We believe that the current planning rules allow applications such as this to be refused. I am happy that we had the opportunity to put our case at the meeting.
“I definitely got the feeling that, as before, many of the committee wanted to refuse the application but felt unable to because the officer’s report didn’t give them a reason to do so. So we hope that, as also happened before, a way is found for residents’ views to prevail.
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“We are glad that the application hasn’t been approved but also frustrated that we are going to have to go through all of this year again. How many more times will CALA Homes be allowed to resit this exam?”
CALA Homes put the application forward in September, and also asked for the building of 160 new homes in the meadow to be considered in the St Albans Local Plan.
Verulam ward councillor Edgar Hill said: “This most recent attempt from CALA Homes to build a stable did not vary greatly from its original, other than to say the stables should accommodate one horse instead of two.
“Possibly this issue has been going on so long that one of the horses has moved on to that great stable in the sky! Maybe CALA Homes will have better luck with planning consent on the Elysian Fields.”