Community split over Christmas tree storage, welfare barn and Bonsai nursery on edge on Doncaster/Barnsley boundary

A community on the edge of Doncaster is split over plans to build a Bonsai nursery, a welfare barn and space for a Christmas tree packing and storage facility.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 11:37 am

Applicant James Wallis, of Wallis Farming Ltd, wants to build an agricultural barn and welfare building together with hardstanding, car parking area and access track on land off Chapel Lane in Thurnscoe, Barnsley.

Chapel Lane is in Thurnscoe but the access road leading to the application site falls within the Doncaster borough.

The site lies within the allocated Green Belt whereby the construction of new buildings are regarded as ‘inappropriate’ in this area.

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The area outlined where the development will be close to Thurnscoe in Barnsley but over the boundary in Doncaster.

Exceptions to this are buildings for agriculture and forestry, and engineering operations as long as the facilities ‘preserve the openness of the Green Belt and do not conflict with the purposes of including land within it’.

Despite objections and support for the proposal, DMBC planning officers have said the structure will not impede on the Green Belt surroundings due to its agriculture-like architecture.

The agricultural building is to be divided internally into a barn and welfare section. On the ground floor it will be used for machine storage, hydroponics and Christmas tree/fruit and mushroom packaging and storage. The upper level will be used for a Bonsai nursery with toilet/changing rooms, manager’s office and canteen.

Those objecting to the site say the development will ‘impact on the village’ through an increase in traffic while others say the location is not appropriate for a business/small warehousing unit in a residential area.

But supporters of the plan say it will turn the land into an employment space which is used for anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping and nuisance bikers.

Others said the proposal would bring ‘much needed’ job opportunities to the village.

DMBC planning officer Nicola Howarth, said: “The development is of a design and scale that is reflective of agricultural buildings. Whilst it is located away from the edge of the village it will be in a corner location and screened by bunding, existing and new proposed hedge and tree planting.

“The access track and hardstanding serves and facilitates the barn and is of a permeable design that will be allowed to naturally regenerate.”