FAO Mr Nicholas Davies
Business Manager Strategic Place Teignbridge District Planning Department
Ref: 15/01296/MPA Charlecombe Mill Top Farm Mr King
PRELIMINARY AND WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Dear Mr Davies,
I understand that TDC gave its assent to the construction of a large timber barn to be used for agricultural purposes on this site in about 2010 even though it would serve only 48 acres. Indeed,
the assent then was for a barn that could have been 30 ft longer. There is a view in the parish that the applicant wanted a dwelling at this site from the start and that perhaps he had wind of the relaxation of the planning rules blowing his way.
As a layman, but with some knowledge of our law, I believe that a judicial review is probably indicated in regard both to process and the respect given to statutory declarations.
I should be grateful for your answering the most salient questions coming out of my study of the records. I will try to give context. The questions/requests will be in bold and numbered. I have concentrated on the latter communications – the 'flurry'.
1. Ms Claire Alers-Hankey (CAH) to Ms Kelly Grunnill 2-07-15 “We wish to omit the submitted site plan ….........
I hope this clarifies the extent of the red line and extent of curtilage included within the prior approval application.”
a. This being requested 7 weeks after the second application is lodged and on the day for decision. Is this acceptable to you?
b. What is the significance of this alteration, if any? Do please publish this alteration on the web site.
2. Mr King attempts to dismiss the validity of the two statutory declarations by Ms Emma Perkins and Mr Wayne Farley. But he does not question the nub of their evidence that Mr King's horses were housed at the relevant times in the barn. It is likely that a judge would describe this attempt by Mr King as a nitpicking distraction.
I read his Statutory Declaration which includes his hay harvesting and his Shetland sheep acquired I believe within the last six months.
In paragraph 8 he says "I currently have four leisure horses, all kept as grazing animals ........The fodder business does not allow for stabling (although most is in plastic covered round bales outside DSH) other than welfare/vet they are kept out all year as grazing animals."
c. Given the hill top site, does welfare include housing during inclement winter months? (Rhetorical)
3. Single Farm Payment. Charlecombe Milltop Farm E-mail 30-06-15 17.06
Dear Ms Mooney,
I have received this reply from the Rural Payments Agency today. I would be content for this question and the reply to be listed as a 'Comment'. I have pointed out before that for the original acreage of 48 the Single Farm Payment would be worth about £4000 annually. You will recall an earlier e-mail from me when I recited a statement in the Rendell's brochure for sale of the property May 1st 2011.
- Single Farm Payment “The land does not have Single Farm Payment entitlements”
I will right to the Appeal Support Officer and the Planning Inspector separately. I am looking for the e-mail addresses.
I should be grateful to know whether this farm, holding number 10/369/0094 receives 'Single Farm Payments' -
Mike King Farm & Country Ltd
Charlecombe Mill Top Farm
AND if it does not, the reason for that non-eligibility.
Thanking you in anticipation
David Halpin MB BS FRCS
30 June 2015
Ref: RFI 3661
Dear Mr. Halpin,
Re: Freedom of Information Act – Information Request
Thank you for your email dated 12 June 2015, which we have dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA).
RPA can confirm that it does not hold records of any payments made to the company in question.
Yours sincerely Access to Information Helpdesk Rural Payments Agency
I assume from this response of the RPA that either Mr King never sought the Single Farm Payment or that an application was made and that the holding was found to ineligible.
d. Why was this not posted?
4. The nub –have the horses ever been stabled in the barn.
These are very important documents so I copy them in full
From: Kelly Grunnill Senior Planning Officer To Claire Alers-Hankey
Sent: 02 July 2015 14:36 Cc: Mike King
Dear Ms Alers-Hankey,
You may be aware that two Statutory Declarations have been received stating that your client has been stabling personal horses at the subject barn. If I am to proceed further then I require clarification on the following:
1.The site/building has not been used for any other purpose than for agriculture under the interpretation set out at s.366 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990:
'agriculture' includes horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming, the breeding and keeping of livestock (including any creature kept for the production of food, wool, skins or fur, or for the purpose of its use in the farming of land), the use of land as grazing land, meadow land, osier land, market gardens and nursery grounds, and the use of land for woodlands where that use is ancillary to the farming of land for other agricultural purposes, and 'agricultural' shall be construed accordingly;
The applicants own statement refers to keeping of livestock and fodder. I understand that the sheep may graze only and that fodder is collected by a contractor. This in itself does not evidence agricultural use as set out at s.366. What is being produced? Fir? Meat? Can your client confirm and provided evidence of the latter and also confirm whether fodder is bailed by him also?
2. That no horses have ever been stabled within the subject building since the building has been in your clients ownership.
3. The site is an established agricultural unit which conforms with the interpretation set out at 'Interpretation of Part':
'established agricultural unit' means agricultural land occupied as a unit for the purposes of agriculture'
(a) for the purposes of Class R, on or before 3rd July 2012 or for 10 years before the date the development begins; or
(b) for the purposes of Class Q or S, on or before 20th March 2013 or for 10 years before the date the development begins;
I require confirmation of the above by 2.30pm today. I apologise for the short notice but as you are aware, we are required to issue a decision within 56 days.
Senior Planning Officer
From: Claire Alers-Hankey Sent: 02 July 2015 14:36 To: Kelly Grunnill Cc: Mike King
Subject: RE: Charlecombe Mill Top Farm
In response to your email I have the following comments:
1. I can confirm that the application site/building has not been used for any other purpose than for agriculture under the interpretation set out in s336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The sheep kept on the surrounding land are Shetland sheep and are farmed by Mr King for breeding, production of breeding stock, meat, hide and wool. The sheep graze the land surrounding the application building and the barn is utilised for lambing, general shelter for the sheep, routine veterinary care, shearing, foot trimming/care, worming, etc. The building is also used for the storage of fodder produced on the adjacent land. While a contractor cuts and bales the fodder, as per the majority of farm businesses, the applicant grows the grass as a crop on his own land for hay/haylage, with harrowing, rolling, fertilising and spraying all done by Mr King. Once the grass is cut Mr King turns the hay several times, then rows it up ready to be baled. The applicant then stores the fodder in the barn and re-processes the bales in the barn as necessary, for example, to make smaller bales or a less concentrated fodder mix. Furthermore, all of the farming implements (sprayer, roller, etc.) are stored in the application barn also, as is evidenced in the photographs that have been submitted by Mr King already and as referred to in my earlier emailed submissions. We have further photographic evidence available of the sheep in the barn during lambing/shearing, etc., however these cannot be provided at such short notice.
2. I can confirm that no horses have ever been stabled within the application building since Mr King has owned the building and site.
3. The site is an established agricultural unit, which conforms with the interpretation set out at 'Interpretation of Part 3'. The land and building is occupied as a unit for the purposes of agriculture, and has been by the client since 2010. The agricultural holding number, as supplied in previous correspondence is 10/369/0094.
I hope this provides the necessary detail you need in order to approve the application, if you require anything else I am available all afternoon to provide further information. I would also like to point out that claims made by the objectors Statutory Declarations are not supported by any evidence.
It appears Mr Davies that you accepted the plain assertion from Ms Claire Alers-Hankey and went on to allow the 'prior approval'.
The trouble is this is it not?
Ms Claire Alers-Hankey is saying that Emma Perkins and Mr Wayne Farley are lying is she not?
More especially, that they have committed perjury and that is liable on proof to imprisonment.
And your approval of this application against this central rule about non-agricultural uses in the Act also says that the couple have committed perjury. As the officer holding the ring in this, your responsibility and culpability is the greater.
David Halpin MB BS FRCS