Permission has been granted for agricultural buildings within the North Cheshire Green Belt on Moor Lane to be used as an abattoir.
The owners of Yewtree Farm sought to establish the lawful use of the site for an abattoir and residential use, claiming the outbuildings have been in active use as a slaughterhouse since 2001.
Twenty four letters were received in respect of the application, which all raised objections. These included: the site is Green Belt land and therefore should be protected; it would result in noise and loss of privacy; there are existing problems from smell and traffic which will get worse for local residents and businesses and the site should be kept as farmland.
The main issue when determining this application was whether the site has been used continuously for the purposes of industrial and residential uses for a period in excess of 10 years which some local residents disputed. Some neighbours claimed: the site is not a full time abattoir as chickens are only brought in for slaughter one day a week; the majority of the site and outbuildings have not been used for slaughtering poultry and outbuildings were mainly used for the storage of equipment, motor cars and hay.
Wilmslow Town Council's Planning Committee recommend refusal of this application on the grounds that there is significant doubt as to the use as an abattoir over the period of time in question and the site being considered as a single unit with regards to planning.
Additionally, local group Residents of Wilmslow objected stating that whilst they do not dispute the fact an abattoir has been operating on this site for a number of years, there is clear evidence the operation has been restricted to buildings within the farm only and other buildings have not been used for years.
The area of the site covered by this application was amended during the process, reducing it to a line around the buildings and some hard surfacing close to them, so the adjacent green fields to the north/northwest of the buildings were excluded.
On determining this application, Planning Officer Louise Dowd said "The information submitted with the application is sufficient to prove that on the balance of probabilities the buildings and some hardstanding have been used for a period in excess of ten years as a dwelling house and slaughter house and continue to be used as such.
"This is corroborated by adjacent neighbours who have confirmed the use of the buildings but have queried the use of the adjacent land. This land is now excluded from the site edged red associated with the Certificate application."
She concluded "According to the evidence submitted it has been demonstrated that the site has been used continuously as a mixed use site for industrial (B2) and residential (C3) uses for a period significantly in excess of 10 years. There is no evidence to contradict or make the applicant's version of events less than probable.
"As a result, it is recommended that a Certificate of Lawfulness be issued."
In 2016 controversial plans for a residential development of 21 homes at Yew Tree Farm were refused. The proposal, for two-storey detached properties and mews houses with 30% of the properties being affordable, was refused on the grounds of inappropriate development in the Green Belt and the impact on neighbours due to the lack of space between properties.