Residents ‘exasperated’ with council as meadow is still being developed a year on

A PLANNING battle that has been raging on for more than a year has left residents “exasperated” and feeling let down by Winchester City Council. Nick Butler continues to develop a meadow in Dradfield Lane, Soberton. He began works in June of last year and faced huge backlash from local residents.

In March he submitted a retrospective planning application but the works were deemed unlawful and city council officers refused permission. Yet, in July of 2021, local residents including Angus McCullough are still fighting against the ongoing development. “I, together with other local residents, am exasperated that the Council is not taking decisive and robust enforcement action in relation to the ongoing development of the site, including for the full restoration of the mature native hedgerow that was destroyed to create the enlarged entrance,” said Mr McCullough.

Mr Butler had appealed the planning decision but this was dismissed by the Planning Inspector. Mr McCullough continued: “Works are very much continuing, with further work on the road that he has laid down the middle of the site over the last weekend, with a dumper truck and digger. The council still seems to accept that this is all agricultural use.

“By way of an update, although the council provided Mr Butler with a deadline of June 30 2021 to submit a planning application there is still no sign of this appearing on the council’s website. “They have said that they have received a ‘submission’, but this has not been confirmed as a valid planning application. “The appeal against the refusal of retrospective planning permission for the enlarged gateway was dismissed by the Planning Inspector in March, but the council has still not taken any enforcement action in relation to this development.

“Also, the Planning Inspector indicated that the lorry trailer sited on the field could amound to a ‘building’ for the purposes of planning control.

Winchester City Council have since accepted that, but taken no steps in relation to enforcement.”

The Chronicle has contacted the city council for a comment and awaits a response.