Sunday, 1 April 2012

Old Park Farm: Fun and Adventure!

This application, 27396/028, seeks permission for

USE OF AGRICULTURAL LAND FOR QUAD BIKING, PAINT BALLING AND MOTO-PARAGLIDING ACTIVITIES AND CONSTRUCTION OF RECEPTION BUILDING

at Old Park Farm.

The public consultation period for this application has ended. We are no longer accepting comments from the public on this application


Kingsley Parish Council - STRONGLY OPPOSED to this planning application for the following reasons:- 1. DIVERSIFICATION Whilst we acknowledge that the Government is encouraging farmers to diversify, this should not be done in an insensitive manner to the detriment of the land & local residents. The diversification should be where "meaningful opportunities" exist. Our understanding of this is that the opportunity should be "equidistant from both extremes". We seriously question that this is the case with this application. All land is under intense pressure especially in the South East and this application puts an unacceptable amount of further pressure on this area of comparatively quiet beautiful Hampshire countryside. It will do nothing but harm to the considerable amount of wildlife that includes badgers, deer, foxes, owls, partridges etc. in an area which is something of a haven and not constantly disturbed by human beings. We view this application at the extreme end of the disturbance scale and totally out of keeping with the local area. 2. LOCATION There is absolutely NO JUSTIFICATION for these unnatural country activities on the proposed site. This is NOT some isolated spot miles from anywhere. It is relatively close to the village of Kingsley and within 500 metres of several hours. Let common sense prevail, it is without doubt a totally unsuitable site. 3. EMPLOYMENT The application provides no proof whatsoever of any employment gain. The people likely to be involved with the proposal are already employed on the farm anyway. There is a vague reference to some further part time employment presumably if the business is a success. 4. DAYS/HOURS OF OPERATION The applicant proposes that Quad Biking will take place on 25 days per month between the hours of 9am - 5.30 pm. Paint Balling is a 24 hrs exercise, is this really remotely acceptable so close to a residential area with noise, lights etc. late at night? Moto Paragliding involves 6 hours flying per person per week when the weather is suitable. Apart from the Quad Biking the days and hours are suitably vague to say the least and not acceptable. We would wish to see the applicant clarify this part of the proposal and to comment further if and when this is done. IF this proposal was to be granted permission then we would like to see the days/hours restricted as follows:- . a DAYS Preferably restricted to WEEKDAYS ONLY, but if not, to include 2 Saturdays only per calendar month which must be published to local residents 6 weeks in advance. NO SUNDAYS whatsoever. This will at least ensure that local residents do not have Summer Sundays totally disturbed by roaring Quad Bikes and that they have some full weekends of total peace and quiet. . b HOURS 1 Quad Bikes 9am to 5.30 pm only 2 Paint Balling NOT 24 HRS. Weekdays only plus 2 Saturdays per month, 9 am to 2 hrs after dark and before idnight. 3 Motor Paragliding 9am to 5.30 pm only 4. ACCESS The applicant proposes access to be only through Old Park Farm. No access should be permitted from Sickles Lane/Road. 5. NOISE We challenge the applicants' statement in para. 2.6.1.: The noise levels were measured by an EHDC Environmental specialist and were found to be well within acceptable statutory limits (when operated in the field area A,B and C non readable and when operated from the farm buildings: Paramotor 50-60 Decibels; Quad Bikes 55 Decibels - all of which are below the local traffic registered background noise level and acceptable in terms of statutory noise level requirements). We believe the measurements of the noise level were done with a limited number of 50cc Quad bikes. To our knowledge no measurement has been done with 15 x 150cc bikes (max group size proposed) + 2 instructors on bikes presumably 150cc. So a total of 17 x 150cc bikes roaring around the proposed field of activity at full throttle would be a totally different scenario from the demonstration. We believe EHDC Environmental Health Officer should assess the situation not on db(A) or Leq's basis but on what Govt Circular 10/73 describes as "common sense judgements". 17 x 150cc Quad bikes are going to make a HUGE AMOUNT OF NOISE. Govt. Circular 10/73 must be a material consideration. This level of noise will be totally unacceptable and a serious loss of amenity to the local residents of this peaceful, rural, Greenfield, beautiful Hampshire countryside. 7 MOTO PARAGLIDING We question the recorded noise levels stated in paragraph 2.6.1 of the applicants submission. Was the moto-paragliding 500.1000 feet in the air at the time of the recordings? The applicant has tried to allay peoples' fears stating that the flying will be restricted over fields A B and C. These will be novice flyers who will instantly be so capable that they can restrict their flying to a designated area? We have our doubts and have concerns of the possible risk and dangers involved. 8 BRIDLEWAYS AND FOOTPATHS The proposed area of activity will present possible dangers to the users of footpaths 29, 27 and 71 parts of which are within the proposed area of activities. Bridleway 62 runs close to the northern boundary and Bridleway 30 runs close to the eastern boundary of the proposed area of activities. These proposed activities are all INCOMPATIBLE with horse riding and will present possible dangers for the riders. These are unacceptable risks. 9. HORSES & QUAD BIKES As the Quad Bikes will start at Old Park Farm albeit slowly we presume that the applicant does not perceive a conflict of interests between the horse riders at his livery stables and the quad bikers. We believe otherwise and there will be dangers for the riders. 10. RECEPTION BUILDING As stated by the applicant, Old Park Farm has been developed into an industrial/office complex. Recently an application for a permanent office building was refused so we see no reason to agree to a similar building as part of this application. The applicant should use/adapt his existing offices/buildings. Old Park Farm is, in our opinion, already fully developed if not over developed and no further development can be justified for any reason. 11. SOUTH DOWNS NATIONAL PARK (SDNP) The status of the SDNP is that it is 'designated awaiting confirmation'. It is therefore a material consideration of SIGNIFICANT weight in the determination of this application and should form a large part of EHDC's deliberation. The proposed site for activities is approx. 600m from the SDNP boundary to the north-west on Sickles Lane/Road. There inevitably must be some kind of "buffer zone" around the SDNP and this sort of activity within that buffer zone would be totally unacceptable. 12 THE POSSIBLE FUTURE The wording of the application strongly suggests that this application is merely a "foot in the door". IF it was granted permission, IF it was a success then there is little or no doubt that other possibly noisier activities will be included to make the whole business a more viable proposition. FINALLY, grant permission to this application and we believe EHDC will be setting a very dangerous precedent throughout the District - please DON'T!

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