Farmers plans dashed due to prehistoric settlements

A FARMER’S hopes of expanding his poultry business have been quashed by council planners despite because of concernsit could affect traces of East Devon’s first ancient settlements.

A FARMER’S hopes of expanding his poultry business have been quashed by council planners despite because of concernsit could affect traces of East Devon’s first ancient settlements.

Plans to build two mobile chicken houses at Pulhayes Farm on East Budleigh Road were rejected by East Devon District planners because of concerns that prehistoric settlements could be on nearby land.

Cropmarks to the north and south of the farm, said Deputy County Archaeologist Bill Horner, could indicate traces of ancient Bronze Age, Iron Age or even Romano-British communities.

Planners consulted with Devon County Archaeology before recommending refusal to the planning committee, who turned the proposal down on February 8.


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Mr Horner wrote: “There might well be the remains of roundhouses there.

“At similar sites in Devon we have found pottery and sometimes metalwork, this is what we have found when some settlements were forced to be excavated when the A31 was built some years ago.”

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Planning officers said: “The site is located in an archaeologically sensitive area…(and the plans)…may have a significant impact on artefacts of archaeological significance.”

Mrs Henrietta Quinnell, one of the vice presidents of the Devon Archaeological Society said: “While we can’t be certain that the sites are prehistoric settlements, the Society would prefer that they be preserved so that at some stage they can be excavated fully for the benefit of future generations.”

This refusal comes at a time of increased public demand for ‘free range’ chickens, and increasing applications for poultry houses in Devon.

District Councillor for Budleigh Salterton Malcolm Florey, who supported the plans said: “This is an important…enterprise which will be so important for the future…of farming operations.

“This proposal has my full support.”

Neighbours also had no objections to the plans.

Council planners also said that the chicken houses’ design were ‘an inappropriate form of development…for which there is insufficient agricultural justification’ in an area planners described as ‘unspoilt’.

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