Rossendale petting farm boss in planning row with council
A POPULAR children's farm attraction has been threatened with closure after a row over planning permission broke out between the owner and the council.
An enforcement notice has been served on Animal Quackers farm in Bacup by Rossendale Council The farm has been operating as a tourist attraction without permission since 2007.
But owner Terry Bork claims he is being treated unfairly by the council after the planning application he eventually submitted was late. He has now launched an appeal.
He said: "I have done all I can as soon as possible to meet the council’s requirements.
“I believe that a combination of having to make the planning application on my own due to not being able to afford professional help and confusing information from the council has led to it taking longer to submit than expected.
“ I will fight any decision to attempt to close us or refuse planning permission.”
The council said the notice was served after it was discovered earlier this year that the Huttock Top Farm venture, in Newchurch Old Road, had been operating without planning approval.
While officers lifted an initial enforcement notice in March to allow him time to submit a retrospective application, they said that a new enforcement notice was issued after he failed to submit it within five months.
The application has now been received and the notice will remain in effect until Mr Bork’s appeal is decided by an independent planning inspectorate.
His new application is expected to be decided on October 29.
If the notice is upheld Mr Bork will be ordered to remove all equipment associated with the play farm. His 150 animals would remain.
Stuart Sugarman, the council’s director for business, said: “Upon being served with the Enforcement Notice in August Animal Quackers eventually submitted the information required to validate their planning application.
“The council registered the planning application however Mr Bork’s cheque bounced so the application was temporarily stopped while Mr Bork provided the fee.”
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