Whistle blown on playtime fun

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FOLLOWING a u-turn council ruling, a couple have been told they must move play equipment used by their children.

The decision to refuse Dr Catherine Dunnett permission to convert a portion of her land at Chaise Farm Stables, Tuddenham, from paddock to garden use marks the end of a saga that has seen the case sent back to Forest Heath District Council’s planning committee three times.

Dr Dunnett wanted to change the use of the land so that her three children could play in a secure area while she and her husband worked.

Council officers recommended an alternative site already designated for garden use but Dr Dunnett said it was inappropriate as it had open access to stables that was essential to her business.

Speaking at the planning meeting, Dr Dunnett said: “The land allows me or my husband to continue working while the children play.”

The planning committee originally approved the change of use, however the decision was reverted after the council’s monitoring officer decided it was against the rule of law as it departed from the council’s Development Plan.

The council’s planning committee had a heated discussion about the proposal at a meeting on Wednesday.

Cllr Bill Bishop said: “These are a couple of people who want to work on their successful business, who have three kids and want to transform that area into a garden area.

“It’s not an awkward problem area, it’s an area that allows people to enjoy their life with their kiddies while making progress in the horse racing industry.”

The council’s planning committee voted to refuse the application on the basis of the officer’s recommendations that the area could not be considered small and unobtrusive and that the change of use would harmfully damage the character of the land.