Casebook: Appeal cases - Agricultural Development - Lighting columns judged harmful to countryside

The retention of lighting columns around a manege in Kent has been rejected because of their harmful impact on the surrounding area's character, particularly at night.

The inspector, after observing the site during the day and evening, decided that the floodlights were unattractive and inappropriate in a countryside setting. He found that at night they gave off a very bright glare causing substantial light pollution to spill into adjacent countryside and the gardens of local properties. He remarked that a dark sky would normally be expected at night in a rural area, not high-intensity artificial illumination.

A further appeal for the retention of 14 loose boxes for equestrian and livery use was allowed. The inspector judged that the amount of traffic generated by the livery use was acceptable and did not undermine local residents' amenity. In granting permission, he imposed a condition requiring the track leading to the site to be resurfaced to a standard agreed with the local planning authority within two months of his decision.

DCS No: OT100-044-716; Inspector: Stuart Reid; Hearing.

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