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Callers Farm development

Planners ignore worries over cattle complex

Mid Devon planners have ignored residents’ pleas for the latest 24-hour cattle shed at Callers Farm, Rosemary Lane to be screened by trees.
They have approved plans by RH Drew and Son to further expand the cattle complex without insisting on screening along the southern side of the building to hide it from the valley.
And they appear to have disregarded complaints about light pollution. The bright orange glow that annoys lovers of Clayhidon’s dark skies comes not from street lamps but from lights left on inside the existing sheds.
However they did insert conditions about external lights and screening of the less visible north eastern gable end of the new shed.
No-one opposed the plan outright, with many accepting that farm businesses must expand to survive, but Clayhidon Parish Council and nine residents expressed concerns about lack of screening and landscaping, light pollution and the whiteness of the concrete.
The sheds have already become one of the largest groups of buildings in the upper Culm, and Mid Devon District Council is expecting further applications for buildings below the current complex.
One objector has likened it to an “industrial estate” in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The parish council had called for full landscaping of all sides of the building that are visible across the valley. Councillors wanted a darker grey concrete side and roofing material to be used. They said lighting should be shielded to avoid light pollution.
Liz Turner, planning officer for The Blackdown Hills AONB, wrote in support of these concerns: “The AONB Partnership is sympathetic to the demands of farm businesses operating in the Blackdown Hills, however there is a need to balance this with the need to conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area – the key objective of designation.
“The incremental growth of this farm has led to a footprint that is significantly larger in scale than the rest of the hamlet, and a mass of buildings that are very evident in views from the surrounding area.”
She added: “The points made about planting, materials and colour, and avoidance of light spill all merit careful consideration in respect of ongoing development at this site in terms of conserving and enhancing the AONB.”
Full planning permission has been granted, subject to planting of trees to screen the building from the north east and two colour conditions - “anthracite grey and juniper green BS 12B29 for the profile walling and gable concrete wall North east elevation”.
The planners are also insisting on prior approval of any external lighting, but there are no conditions imposed on the issues bothering residents, namely the internal lighting and screening of the southern side of the buildings.
>You can see all the documents relating to the application, including the plans, letters of objection and the planning approval letter on this link. 
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