A COUPLE have been left facing “great turmoil” after a large agricultural building was built just metres from their home.

The view from Dave and Di Jesinger’s lounge window at their house in Canada Road, West Wellow, had looked out on an open field.

However, this has now completely changed with the erection of the metal barn-like structure, which they said they did not know about until foundations were placed.

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And the retired couple are warning that changes in planning regulations several years ago mean others could suffer a similar fate.

Mr Jesinger, aged 77 and a retired scientific mathematician, said neighbouring residents to the field were called by the land owner the night before construction started to say workers would be in the field but with no details.

Over the days that followed foundations were placed and the building was put up metres from their property.

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“Everyone is up in arms and amazed by it,” said Mr Jesinger. “They don’t know how people could do this. We are totally devastated. We have lived here for almost 50 years, other than 15 years when we sailed around the world.

“We have owned the house since 1971 and we thought we were going to live here for the rest of our days. Now we are faced with the great turmoil of this thing right outside our house.”

Romsey Advertiser: Dave and Di JesingerDave and Di Jesinger

Fellow Canada Road resident Andy Hewitt added: “You look at the field and the only one place you really would not want this put is where it is now.

“If it was 20 metres to the side, people would not be left looking at a dark green wall.”

The prior notification application for the building was submitted as general permitted development to New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) last year and signed off by an officer with no consultation of residents or the parish council. Mr Jesinger said residents had no idea the application had been submitted and had no chance to comment.

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This type of scheme can be brought following changes to the Town and Country Planning Act in 2015, which introduced a number of new planning rights if applicants met certain criteria. In this case this involved having a holding of at least five hectares for the permitted development. While the field is only just more than one hectare in size, a planning report by the NPA says it is part of an 8.41-hectare holding.

Mr Jesinger warned that anyone who lives near designated agricultural land could face the same experience as the residents of Canada Road. He added: “You could go away on holiday for two weeks and return to the trauma of a new, unsightly structure close beside your home.”

Steve Avery, NPA planning executive director, said: “We understand the concerns of residents but planning legislation allows landowners to erect farm buildings without planning permission (known as permitted development rights) subject to them following a prior notification procedure.

"A ‘prior notification’ application is very different to a normal planning application and does not require public consultation. Providing qualifying criteria are met in terms of size and other matters the Authority has no basis for objecting to or preventing buildings that are ‘permitted development’. That is what happened in this case.

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"The only limit for a new agricultural building in proximity to people’s homes applies when the building is intended to house livestock, in which case it cannot be sited within 400m of a residential property. It is nonetheless very unfortunate that the land owner chose to site this building so close to someone’s home.”

The land owner, who did not submit the application, did not comment when contacted by the Daily Echo.