Confusion over family’s application to turn agricultural land into garden with tennis court in south Warwickshire village

The applicant had told Stratford District Council’s planning committee that the parcel of land at the rear of his house in Alveston was too small to be effectively used for agriculture and that the tennis court would not only be used by his family but also friends and neighbours. Committee members chose to defer their decision pending further information being provided and scrutinised

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Confused councillors have decided to defer making a decision on a family’s request to turn agricultural land at the back of their house in Alveston into an extended garden complete with tennis court.

The applicant had offered to plant wildflowers on another patch of land to the side of the property at Alveston Pastures adding that biodiversity would also be boosted with the introduction of bird and bat boxes and a number of new trees.

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But councillors at this week's [WED] meeting of Stratford District Council’s planning committee also heard that an amended scheme had been put forward which had yet to be considered by officers.

Committee chairman Cllr Peter Richards (Con, Snitterfield) said: “It is pretty clear from what we have heard that the applicant is under the impression that the land he is putting forward is garden land.

However, the council’s version of it is that it is not. There is a deep amount of confusion over that.

“I am a little bit uncomfortable about making a decision on something that has so many aspects to it without clear evidence and information.”

The applicant, Ben Blackwell, had earlier told the meeting that the parcel of land at the rear was too small to be effectively used for agriculture and that the tennis court would not only be used by his family but also friends and neighbours.

Ward member Cllr Kate Rolfe (Lib Dem, Tiddington) told the meeting: “There is absolutely no intention of the applicants destroying any of this beautiful countryside or gorgeous trees - they are as passionate about biodiversity as anyone I know. The land has not been used as agricultural land to their knowledge for over 15 years.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to defer the application.

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