Council victory over shooting planning appeal: ‘common sense has prevailed’

Cabinet councillors at Lewes District Council have welcomed the announcement by the Planning Inspectorate to dismiss the appeal of Iford Farm against a council decision to restrict shooting on its land.

Previously, council officers had investigated an alleged breach of planning control on Iford Farm concerning the shooting of game.  Shooting is permitted on 28 days of the year, but the investigating officers found that it was taking place more frequently than that and subsequently issued an enforcement notice.

The owners of the farm appealed but the Planning Inspector has dismissed the appeal (see attached Appeal Decision 29/4/20).

Councillor Emily O’Brien (pictured), Cabinet Member for Planning, said:

“ The scale of the shooting operation that was being proposed on Iford Farm was clearly at odds with the rights of the public to be able to enjoy the special qualities and natural beauty of the South Downs National Park.

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“Common sense has prevailed and I’m delighted the hard work and expertise of our officers, notably Jennifer Baxter, the council’sspecialist adviser on planning enforcement, has been vindicated.”

While the enforcement notice was served in August 2018, the appeal hearing took place on 10 March 2020.

Councillor William Meyer, Cabinet councillor and the council’s representative on the South Downs National Park Authority, said:

“It has taken a long time to reach this point and knowing how much distress it caused to so many local people, I am both relieved and pleased with the decision by the Planning Inspector.  We will not stand idly by and allow anyone to ride roughshod over the planning policies that protect our most precious resources.”