Agenda item

Application No: P/FUL/2022/04629 - Southover Farm, Tolpuddle, Dorchester DT2 7HE

Retrospective application for as-built slurry lagoon.





The Planning Officer (Minerals and Waste) presented the report for a retrospective application for an as built slurry lagoon.


The Planning Officer detailed the history of the slurry lagoon which was granted permission in 2019 for a depth of 3.4m but had been constructed to a depth of 5.5m.  The lagoon had been in use for two winters and was surrounded by fencing and barbed wire.


The Planning Officer outlined the principle of development, the need for slurry storage, measurements as built and those approved.  By way of a slide presentation committee members were shown views of the site, the approach and an arial view detailing the one-way delivery routes into and out of the farm.  Details of the ecological designations, nutrient neutrality and concerns relating to amenity and Highways, were highlighted as part of the presentation. Photographs of Southover Lane were displayed to inform members of the delivery routes to the farm, deliveries of slurry were permitted 5 times a day, there had been no objections from the Highways Department.


As part of the previously approved application a Slurry Liaison Committee had been established as a liaison between the farmer and the residents which met twice a year.  As part of the retrospective application, the applicant wished to reduce these meetings to once a year, however the Chairman of the Slurry Liaison committee had expressed a wish to maintain a minimum of two meetings per year.


Oral representation was received from Lizzie Guinn, Philip Martin, Cllr David Neudegg (Vice Chairman of Affpuddle and Turnerspuddle Parish Council), Cllr John Ridout (Puddletown Area Parish Council) and Cllr Emma Parker, Dorset Council Ward Member.


Concerns raised in their representations related to the number of and speed of traffic movements, residents’ wish to reduce daily movements from five to two and the need to maintain the Slurry Liaison Committee together with balancing the needs of the farmer and the residents.


Mr Cobb, the applicant also addressed the committee, he was happy to work within conditions but stressed the need for flexibility. He expressed his willingness to work with the Slurry Liaison Committee.


The Planning Officer was invited to respond to the comments made by the speakers.  The number of traffic movements were the same as granted in the original application and records were kept for inspection.  Concerns relating to speed limits would not be enforceable by Council Officers.


In debating the application members felt it inadvisable to reduce the number of Slurry Liaison Committee meetings.


Proposed by Cllr Sherry Jesperson, seconded by Cllr Toni Coombs


That; If members were minded to support the application, the condition to hold twice yearly meetings of the Slurry Liaison Committee be re-instated and remained in place for the existence of the slurry lagoon. Further meetings were to be instigated by the Chairman, not by Dorset Council Officers.


Members were aware that the key consideration remained unchanged, if neither permission was in place the applicant would still have the ability to import the same amount of slurry with no conditions, rejecting the application would not result in the traffic movements reducing or going away.  A deeper lagoon would not cause any additional harm.


Proposed by Cllr Shane Bartlett, seconded by Cllr John Worth.


Decision: that the application be approved with the addition of a condition to ensure that the gate to the slurry remain locked at all times, other then when deliveries were made and Cllr Jespersen’s amendment in relation to the Slurry Lagoon committee.  Plus the conditions outlined in the appendix to these minutes.


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