Proposed conditions to a new fishing lake at a Barns Green camp site were labelled ‘pedantic’ and ‘stupid’ by councillors last night (Tuesday January 7).
Horsham District Council’s planning committee eventually approved an application for a new lake for recreational fishing at Sumners Pond Fishery and Camp Site in Chapel Road, but not before spending 30 minutes debating the recommended conditions.
The business, run by the Smith family, already has four lakes and 40 people on the payroll, and all councillors voiced support for its expansion.
Stuart Ritchie (Con, Itchingfield, Slinfold and Warnham) said: “I’m very impressed with what Sumners Pond provides to Barns Green and its customers.”
However several conditions suggested by planning officers angered some councillors.
Godfrey Newman (LDem, Forest) thought that condition three, which centred around parking turning and access facilities, was an ‘insult to a successful business’.
He added: “I despair of how pedantic we are being to this.”
Leonard Crosbie (LDem, Trafalgar) added: “I think the conditions are unnecessary because these people are running a very successful site which involves lake creation.”
Meanwhile condition seven required the submission of a long-term landscape management and maintenance plan before construction on the lake started.
On condition four, which allows no more than 18 vehicles to be parked on site at any one time, Andrew Baldwin (Con, Holbrook East) said: “We are not the health and safety police, how are we going to enforce 18 vehicles on site? It’s a load of rubbish.”
He added: “Why do we make stupid conditions?”
John Chidlow (Con, Southwater) added: “I think we need to look at the wording of this and why this wording is so draconian.”
Duncan England (Con, Nuthurst) said: “This is a successful rural business that we should be supporting. We need to support the rural economy but not to put barriers in the way of these rural developments that are successful.”
Conditional planning permission was granted with conditions four and seven removed.