BLYTHE FARM: Unpopular plans for ‘eyesore’ sheep shelter approved in Solihull
Unpopular plans for an “eyesore” sheep shelter have been approved in Solihull, with one councillor suggesting he liked the proposals better than the £3.5m eco-home next door.
Some residents had raised objections to the new agricultural building at Blythe View Farm, in Knowle, with claims it would spoil the view of the open countryside.
Concerns were also raised that the pasture was too small to support the 100 sheep that it was suggested would graze on the site.
Although councillors – who were told they had no planning powers to impose a limit on the number of livestock – this week voted to support the scheme.
Cllr Peter Hogarth (Con, Silhill) felt it was the right location for this type of structure and he preferred it to Hedge House – the luxury property built three years ago and still on the market.
“From what I gather from earlier conversations this is very near to the building that is about a million pound and has got a green grass roof or something, somewhere along the Kenilworth Road.
“Well quite honestly I’d sooner have the agricultural building than the one that’s on that land and subject to finding a buyer.”
Cllr Richard Holt, who chairs the planning committee, also came out in support and said that residents had to expect farm buildings in rural areas.
“You are going to have agricultural buildings next to your house. And so you should unless we have a countryside that is arid and doesn’t have farm life on it.”
Although Cllr Diana Holl-Allen (Con, Knowle) said it was a “difficult one” and raised concerns about a “very big building” near to neighbouring homes.
Henrik Skouby, who had objected to the plan, said it was the third attempt to build at the site and believed the venture was “unworkable.”
“Without doubt there has to be included the provision of suitable grazing facility to accommodate the proposed flock of 100 sheep to be kept there.
“[The planning statement] advises that Blythe View Farm comprises only 3.5 hectares [approximately eight and three quarter acres] of open pasture. This falls woefully short of an adequate area for 100 sheep, which would require 30 acres.”
Papers said the building was needed to support a growing agricultural business and would be used to store food and equipment and shelter young lambs from winter weather.
It’s understood the flock will include more than a dozen Balwen sheep – a rare breed which originates from Wales.
Lauren May, speaking on behalf of the applicant, said the “small barn” would only cover 70 sqm – roughly the size of a triple garage.
“Therefore it is very small-scale for an agricultural building,” she told the meeting.
She added that more greenery had been planted to help screen the building from view and allay the concerns of neighbours.
The plans were ultimately approved by a majority
Words: David Irwin, Local Democracy Reporter
Watch the channel on TV