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The Current Situation
The Field and its HistoryIn case you have difficulty placing the Lyme Regis Golf Club's members practice area it is on the field north of and adjacent to Strawberry Field. The above picture illustrates the openness of the site viewed from across the Harcombe Valley. A view from the "driver's" seat further illustrates its openness.
The recently adopted, by East Devon District Council, Uplyme Parish Plan had some cautionary advice concerning the valley.
Planning approval was granted on 17th February 1993 to change the use of the field from one of agricultural use to a Golf Club Practice area. This use of the field, as expected, has maintained the general peace and tranquility of the valley.This is the very kind of sporting activity that the provision as outlined in National Planning Policy Guidance (PPG7) is set out to allow in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The installation of a commercial driving range, for it would be open to members of the public, is an entirely different kettle of fish.
The ProposalsIt should be borne in mind, that as with the aborted Strawberry Field proposals, development on this site should not be permitted for the same reasons that applied to that field. Basically they are that the site is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside the Defined Development Boundary as set out in the Local Plan, both the current one and that under review.
We warned that if the Strawberry Field development went ahead there was the distinct probability that further applications would be forthcoming to develop this area. The pressure to do so is obviously so great that even though the Strawberry Field application was given the thumbs down by the planning officers, and in no uncertain a manner, the applications are beginning to appear.
Any development on the field will be highly visible from across the valley and we will again be making strong objections. Many of the same arguments are as equally valid for these proposals.
2004 ApplicationAn article in the Lyme Regis News 24th October 2003 made public a rumour that had been circulating for some time, that the Lyme Regis Golf Club would like to build an 'enclosed' driving range on their member's practice area.
After a number of false starts a planning application - the original - was registered as application number 1/W/2004/893. Full details of this application are still available at the planning website.
Permission for the application was refused under delegated powers on 24th September. See 1st October article and those following on News Page for details.
2005 ApplicationAn application, number 1/W/05/000854 'Erect timber golf driving range building and extend car park (Full)', then followed a year later in which the building was reduced in size by three bays and some screening of the building and car park was attempted. Full details of the application can also be viewed on the WDDC's website.
This application was duly refused and the golf club threatened to appeal, see Practice Area News for report.
2006 ApplicationThis application was basically the same as the 2005 one but with the building being sunk into the ground by 900mm. Details in the box at top of page where you can follow links for additional information on the application, its refusal and the unsuccessful appeal.
Tetra Mastmm02 erected a TETRA mast on the practice field (7th October 2004) without planning permission. The company maintained that it was installed under Emergency Powers and therefore planning permission was not required.
It replaced a temporary mast, also originally installed without planning permission, on the golf course near the 18th tee. The club offered a site to mm02 on a permanent basis. But mm02 eventually chose a shared mast at Trinity Hill. Therefore a TETRA mast presence on this field now seems to have been resolved.
Current information on these threats as well as their history is available on the Practice Area News page
Email: johnrhodehill.co.uk if you have any comments.
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