DC Casebook: Agricultural development - Manure store need case queried at farm

The provision of earth mounds to create areas for manure storage at a farm in the High Weald area of outstanding natural beauty has been ruled visually unacceptable and of questionable necessity.

The 40ha farm was used for sheep grazing and equestrian purposes. The appellant proposed two storage areas with a capacity of 1,600m2 enclosed by earth bunds. He estimated that between 100m2 and 200m2 of mixed manure and waste bedding was generated annually and a further 1,100m2 from the stables. He argued that more storage was needed to meet regulatory requirements and support a move towards organic status.

The inspector decided that the scheme would create a noticeable bulge in the sloping landscape and a proposed track would draw attention to the feature. Consequently, she decided that it would fail to conserve the natural beauty of the area, the impact being compounded by inadequate information on the number of lorry movements required to complete the development and the routes they would take.

The council challenged the appellant's capacity figures and argued that much smaller amounts of manure would be needed to fertilise the land adequately. The council's estimate was based on an authoritative source and should carry more weight, the inspector decided. She was not convinced that the capacity proposed was proportionate to the demand for organic compost generated by the farm.

DCS Number 100-068-984

Inspector Kathleen Ellison; Written representations.

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