Planning appeals for Rogate emu and ostrich farm dismissed

THERE have been further developments in the planning saga of an ostrich and emu farm in Rogate.

A planning inspector has dismissed three appeals made as a result of three planning applications which were rejected by the South Downs National Park on August 5 of this year.

Farm owners Stephen Othan and Carol Lawes had applied firstly to erect a hay barn, secondly to retain a mobile home, and lastly to build a small lodge on the site for farm workers.

The planning inspector said in his report: “I do not doubt the hard work and commitment of the apeallant to his holding and his stock.

“However, I remain unconvinced of a sufficient agricultural justification for the barn, or that the enterprise has or will move beyond the highly competent level of remotely managed self-sufficiency identified three years ago and therefore justifying an agricultural dwelling, permanent or temporary.

“I conclude that all three appeals should be dismissed.”

Earlier in May, Rogate Parish Council wrote a letter to planners, supporting residents in their opposition to the developments taking place on Brick Kiln Copse Farm.

Residents had claimed at the time that some developments on the farm were unauthorised.

More than 20 neighbouring residents asked for action to be taken to decide once and for all the outcome of the site.

The planning history of the farm stretches back about ten years and includes enforcement inquiries, appeals, permissions and refusals for a range of applications.

In 2009 Mr Othan won a planning battle to construct a new building to incubate eggs and rear chicks on the site.

In that instance permission was initially refused by Chichester District Council, however then the decision was overturned by the planning inspector.

However on this occasion the appeal to the planning inspector proved to be ultimately unsuccessful.