Delamere Lambourn Berkshire
The property which is situated adjacent to the southern edge of Lambourn village was formerly a racehorse training establishment. Planning policy in the area seeks to retain viable racing establishments and the use of the site was controlled by a legal agreement. Change of use of a site of this nature is governed by West Berkshire local Plan Policy CS12 which sets out specific circumstance and criteria which are to be applied when considering change of use of a racehorse industry establishment. Only a slight difference in use was proposed for part of the site-Delamere Stables where a more generalised equestrian use was applied for with the upper Delamere House site enjoying a road frontage having obvious potential for housing. The applications should not have been contentious or problematic but West Berkshire Council are renowned for being an exceptionally negative and difficult planning authority which for many years resisted attempts by central government to force planning authorities to update their plans so as to release more land for housing. The policy CS12 had never been tested and the planning officers were not prepared to accept the responsibility of making any decisions in an area of planning-racehorse industry which is fiercely protected. Hence 3 planning appeals were required on the site, with the result that the regeneration of the site has been severely delayed and costs associated with fighting planning appeals were substantial. An excellent case was presented at appeal which overwhelming indicated that the site was not suitable for various sound reasons as solely a racehorse training yard and whilst West Berkshire Council were supported by Jockey Club Estates the highly professional consultant team assembled to fight the case won the day such that now the site has achieved the split into 2 parts with the upper Delamere House site having detailed planning consent for housing. A niche and very attractive development will be progressed in phases with phase 1 the extension and refurbishment of the lower site being well under way. A total of 15 planning applications have been submitted over a period of 4 years. The Delamere Stables site will on completion contain a 5 bed 3bath main house together with 2 secondary flats and 12 stables with barn and the advantage also of a 6 acre field. Equestrian property in the area (as opposed to racehorse establishments) are a rarity with Delamere Stables now enjoying a benign and very flexible planning consent-as a result of an entirely new planning condition which was “created” by collaboration between 3 planning consultants working with Anthony Hallows. West Berkshire Council planning officers refused to accept the planning condition since they historically have adopted their favourite planning condition which was viewed as too restrictive for the property by Anthony Hallows who had to use all of his combined experience and equestrian and racing knowledge to achieve a successful result. The whole case amounted to a saga with twists and turns as the planning authority refused to deal with the case on its merits and specifically manipulated case officer reports in a biased and prejudiced manner.