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Residents object to farmland switching to business site

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Fifield residents have objected to a planning application to change buildings at Coningsby Farm from agricultural use to business use.

The site is no longer in active agricultural use and its owner, Frankham (Coningsby) Ltd, put forward the planning application in July.

Several of the buildings on the site have already been changed from agricultural buildings to dwellings over the past year.

However, the further step to change the site to business use has raised fresh concern for villagers.

Earlier this month, Coningsby Farm was used as the site of an unauthorised car dealership.

Following complaints from residents, an injunction was issued by the Royal Borough’s planning enforcement team.

Referring to the recent unrest caused by this, Coningsby Lane residents John Matheou and Alister Turtle have both made written objections to the planning application.

They stated that the commercial use of the site had already had ‘an adverse impact on the community and environment’ and ‘created an unreasonable nuisance’ which would worsen if permission was granted.

“Some HGVs that enter, operate on, and leave the site appear to have damaged the grass verges and road surface along Coningsby Lane – a single-track lane,” wrote Chris Wright, another resident, in a separate objection.

“In addition, our private driveway is often used to allow the additional traffic causing substantive damage. Approving the application risks increasing this adverse impact.”

Oakley Green and Fifield Community Association (OGAFCA) also raised an objection on Friday last week, highlighting the potential negative effect on horse riders in the area.

“This is one of the few places within the parish where a horse may be safely ridden off-road,” the letter stated.

“The track is also used by a local riding school and by the Horse Rangers, which is a charitable organisation which encourages young children to ride and look after horses.

“Any increase in traffic movements would destroy the safe use of this area by riders.”

The letter also raised objections regarding the affect on the greenbelt and negative impact on the ‘quiet rural nature’ of the area.

Frankham (Coningsby) Ltd could not be reached for comment.

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