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Bishop's Stortford stonemason J Day & Son appeals against refusal of relocation plan

One of Bishop's Stortford's oldest businesses has renewed its bid to move from the town centre to a new home on Green Belt farmland at Thorley.

Station Road stonemason J Day & Son hit a brick wall of opposition when it submitted a planning application to build a two-storey business unit with access, 12 parking spaces and landscaping at Thorley Street Paddock.

Its proposals prompted objections in April from Thorley parish and Bishop's Stortford town councils. Planning authority East Herts Council rejected the scheme in May on the grounds that the plot – farmland owned by the Streeter family – is part of the Green Belt.

Bridge over River Stort, Station Road, Bishops Stortford. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (22491228)
Bridge over River Stort, Station Road, Bishops Stortford. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (22491228)

J Day & Son, which was established in 1820 and has been trading in Station Road since 1912, has now lodged an appeal against EHC's refusal of planning permission, arguing that its project should be allowed because it is "limited village infilling".

In a statement it says: "In the event that the inspector does not agree that the site is limited infilling, the site in any event benefits from very special circumstances.

"The inspector is asked to balance the alleged, limited harm to the Green Belt by virtue of a new building hidden behind trees, of a similar building-to-plot ratio of other developments in the area, with the substantial benefits the scheme will provide, including the retention locally of a number of skilled jobs, the social benefits of retaining specialists in their local jobs, the environmental benefits of reducing the water usage and traffic problems in the town centre and having a purpose-built site, and the economic benefits of promoting economic growth in the area."

The appeal statement also argues that relocation will free the town centre site for redevelopment, including pedestrian and cycling improvements to the Station Road bridge.

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