The owners of a popular Sutton events venue are disappointed that an application to operate as a mixed use premises has been rejected by East Cambridgeshire District Council.
Speaking to Spotted in Ely afterwards, Sally Bibby said she and her husband Sid were “disappointed” that the Rose Barn off Ely Road had been refused the retrospective permit but said they may consider an appeal.
Yesterday councillors unanimously rejected the mixed use application on the grounds that it posed traffic concerns and a nuisance to neighbours. They had previously been advised to refuse it by case officer Julie Barrow, a senior planning officer at ECDC.
The meeting heard from William Bridges, representing Amberlea Country Kennels & Cattery, a long-running business neighbouring the Rose Barn.
Over the past 14 years, he had said he had expanded and enhanced the business, choosing “tranquil surroundings that responsible pet owners have come to expect”.
Mr Bridges said that functions at the Rose Barn had increased “significantly” over the past 18 months, adding that granting a permit to host 35 events a year would amount to “an event every weekend during our busiest period from March to October”.
He said that noise, smoke fumes and cooking smells from barbecues and hog roasts were causing “distress” for the animals at Amberlea, that children using the garden area during functions were unsettling dogs, and that “animals should be given the same consideration as humans”.
Mr Bridges also complained about increased traffic on the private road servicing the two businesses, adding that there had been three serious road smashes nearby, including a fatal accident on May 27. When questioned further by councillors, he clarified that none of those crashes had involved motorists leaving or entering the A142 from the private road.
He said the Rose Barn was damaging Amberlea’s image and reputation and could discourage people from boarding their animals there.
Of the four neighbours notified about the planning application by the council, Amberlea was the only one to respond.
No one spoke to support the planning application during yesterday’s meeting.
In their applications, the Bibbys had asked for their premises to be changed to mixed use premises, comprising their existing landscaping and turfing business and the Rose Barn. They said they would ask coaches not to be used to transport people to weddings, for functions to end at 12am, and for events to be limited to Saturdays and occasionally Sundays. Signage had been improved on the site and parking had been increased on site for guests attending the Rose Barn.
However, the Local Highway Authority had objected to the proposal, saying more events would most likely lead to “uncontrolled” parking of vehicles on the private access road and the A142, and that it would be impossible to prevent buses from entering the site.
The fatal crash in May was caused by a vehicle overtaking along the stretch of road, the highways officer said.
“Although the cause of this incident is NOT attributed to vehicles entering or leaving either of these junctions. This, in my opinion, reaffirms the safety issues at this location with the intensification of these access points… Without improvements to the access with the A142 and further parking provisions for coaches and the requested parking spaces size information I recommend refusal on highways safety grounds.”
The application was also opposed by Witcham and Sutton Parish Councils.
In its report, ECDC said: “The proposal will involve some limited employment benefits and from the numbers of events held there appears to be a demand for such venues. The benefits of the proposal would not however outweigh the adverse effects as detailed above and on balance the application is recommended for refusal.”
For more information about the application click here.