Illegal fishing tackle shop bids for approvalBy Laura Nightingale
February 12, 2013
OWNERS of an unauthorised fishing tackle shop in Eversley have requested council permission to timber clad their mobile cabin in a bid to make it visually acceptable in the rural area.
Watmore Farm Coarse Fishery, in Fox Lane, is considered one of the best coarse fisheries in the area, renowned for its carp and silver fish sport throughout the year.
The fishery’s management converted a stable on the site into a shop and canteen to allow fisherman to stock up with fishing tackle, equipment and food. However, it soon became apparent that this arrangement had health and safety implications because of resident horses and the management of this part of the business.
It was therefore decided to provide separate premises to house the tackle shop and rest room, and a secure steel mobile caravan was chosen.
Permission was not immediately sought for the new building, and following a retrospective planning request to Hart District Council the owners were refused permission last September and then again with a second application in November.
According to the council, the proposal was “out of keeping with the rural nature of the area, detracts from views from the adjacent public footpath and is detrimental to the character of the countryside”.
The unauthorised development is presently the subject of planning enforcement procedures and the new application is in response to the council’s enforcement officers and case planning officer who recommended that the structure should be clad with materials which would blend in with the existing buildings.
A slate pitched roof and dark stained feather-edge timbers are proposed to closely match the external fisheries and materials of the adjacent stabling, therefore providing a visual link between the structures.
Also as part of the plans, a soft landscaping scene including extra hedgerow and willow trees has been proposed.
Speaking on behalf of the applicant, agent David Wood of Surrey based Agriquestrian Consultants, said: “It is very clear from a visual survey of adjacent sports premises that the use of steel Portacabin structures and containers for storage and other purposes is a very common feature in the local landscape.”
Mr Wood claimed only a short distance away a pony club used a mobile building for its club room, as did Eversley Sports Club.
He added: “There is an existing and proven demand for these facilities to be made available for the local angling community who use the Watmore Fishery.
“The building, as proposed, will have little, if any, adverse effect upon nature conservation, the local landscape character, the open nature of the Blackwater Valley or on the recreational value of the river environment, and in fact will continue to promote and consolidate is primary use for recreational purposes.”
The consultation period has now closed and the council is expected to make a decision by February 27.