A BIZARRE first-past-the-post contest for planning permission between two farms appears to have finally been settled, amid calls for farms to be moved out of villages.

Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee was told to reconsider its decision to grant a scheme to build 35 homes on Rose Villa Farm, Barton, near Darlington, over a similar proposal at The Ashes Farm in the village following Government policy changes.

The meeting heard claims the launch of the revised National Planning Policy Framework days after the proposal was granted meant the decision could be considered unsound.

Housing schemes are unusually decided on their merits, but because granting both schemes would overdevelop the village, both schemes had at some points previously been recommended for approval by the authority’s planning officers.

Eventually, councillors decided in July that while they accepted there were potential public benefits for both schemes, they felt The Rose Villa Farm application would result in greater public benefits.

Speaking for The Ashes Farm at the latest hearing, planning agent Jon Saddington said the change in Government policy now made that proposal “significantly better”.

He said the application would be “more beneficial for Barton village in terms of eliminating ongoing nuisance, including odour, noise, vehicle movements, environmental hazards and associated risks”.

Dismissing concerns about over-developing the village, Councillor Jamie Cameron said he now wanted to see both proposals approved.

He said: “Farms should not be in villages any longer. That’s past those days. People don’t like the smell, they don’t like the tractors, they don’t like anything.

“We have to accept it and there’s nothing wrong with that. The right place for a farm is in the countryside. Villagers are for commuters and for people to have their homes and they don’t want cows mooing, smells and flies. I fully support them.”

Other councillors said it was apparent pressure was being exerted on farmers located in villages to move their operations elsewhere and suggested residents could consider contributing towards farmers’ relocation costs before reaffirming the decisions made in July.

What do you think of the suggestion farms should no longer be in villages?

What do you think of the suggestion farms should no longer be in villages?

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