Council rejects development on public copse at Watton, Driffield

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East Riding of Yorkshire’s planning committee has today unanimously rejected a planning application for retrospective consent to use Watton Copse for an oil-storage tank and domestic purposes including car-parking.  The land adjoins Vicarage Close in Watton, about five miles south of Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

The council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, Alan Menzies, recommended refusal on the grounds of the ‘harmful visual impact’ of the development.  This can be seen through the trees from Beverley Road to the east and Watton lay-by to the north.  He said: ‘The oil tank is considered to be an alien feature that detracts from the character and appearance of the woodland’.  The committee agreed.

Watton Copse

The land belongs to the East Riding Council and is therefore public.  There is a long tradition of community use of the copse, and the public is accustomed to roam freely here.  The oil tank and concrete hard-standing were installed without planning permission and without the consent of the council as landowner.

Watton Copse: the oil tank does not have planning consent.

Watton Parish Council and 42 others, including the Open Spaces Society, objected to the proposal.

We are delighted that the council has rejected this damaging proposal on public-amenity land.  We trust the council will now take enforcement action against this unlawful development, so that people can continue to enjoy this attractive woodland.

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