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Thursday, January 28, 2021

AONB motocross enforcement action upheld by inspector

Motocross events will have to cease on land in Shropshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty after a planning inspector backed Shropshire Council’s enforcement action.

An inspector appointed by the Secretary of State has dismissed an appeal against Shropshire Council’s decision to serve an enforcement notice on land at Thornacre Farm, Stoke St Milborough.

The enforcement notice was served by Shropshire Council with regards to development and use of land at the farm for motocross events. The enforcement notice required the use of the land for motocross to cease and the land to be restored to its former condition.

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In considering the grounds of appeal, the inspector concluded that there were breaches of planning control with regards to both development and use of the land and upheld the council’s enforcement notice with minor corrections and variation.

Cecilia Motley, local Shropshire Councillor for Corvedale, said:

“I am pleased with this decision as it upholds the commitment the council places on protecting the special qualities of the Shropshire Hills AONB, which is a huge asset to the county both for local communities and visitors to the area.

“As councillor for the Corvedale division I would like to thank the council’s planning and enforcement officers for all the hard work they put into this enforcement action.

“It has been a lengthy process but it is great that the strength of the case they put forward has been recognised by the ruling of the Planning Inspector. Local people will be very pleased at this decision.”

Gwilym Butler, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, place planning and regulatory services, said:

“Appeal decisions like this help to maintain public confidence in the planning system and show how the council will take enforcement action in the public interest with regards to breaches of planning control.

“It does show, however, that such enforcement cases can be complex and time consuming. The council’s enforcement notices were served on 2 July 2019 and this appeal decision issued on 24 December 2020.”

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