Planning [UPDATED]

Planning Update October 2016


Our Planning problems regarding our Showground use at Battlesbridge have at last been resolved.

The Chelmsford City Council had issued an enforcement notice in September 2014 in respect of the land at Muggeridge Farm that we have used as a showground for many years.  As you may be aware this notice was the subject of an appeal and public enquiry, with the planning inspector dismissing the appeal and upholding the Council's notice on December 5th.  2015.

We appealed against the planning inspector's decision to the High Court and on January 18th this year the High Court ordered that the inspector's decision be quashed as the inspector had made an error in law in finding that the use of land at Muggeridge Farm as a permanent showground had not become lawful.

Following legal advice taken by the Council they have accepted the argument that the land has become lawful as a permanent showground, and withdrawn the notice.  Therefore the public enquiry scheduled for this month has been cancelled and our shows will be continuing next year as scheduled.

Planning Update 2015

More good news.

We had the Planning Inspectorates decision to uphold the Chelmsford City Council's enforcement order on us quashed by the High Court back in January.  Unfortunately this means that we will have to go through another costly Public Enquiry later in the year to redetermine our appeal.  Shows, events camping and caravanning can carry on in the meantime without any 28 day restriction.  Of course the sensible thing would be for the Council to get of our backs, roll over and give us a Certificate of Lawful Use which we are entitled to!

Planning Update November 2015

The bad news

We have lost our appeal against the enforcement action taken by Chelmsford City Council on our showground.

Full details of the decision can be found through the following link:

We are waiting for the advice of our planning and legal team as to the next step.

The good news

We can still use the land for up to 28 days per year without planning permission which will allow us to carry on hosting our four main shows plus the VW show and the Boatjumble.  More details here.

Planning Update September 2015

We are now into the 11th week since our Public Inquiry in to our planning appeal and have yet to get the result.  Hopefully we will get the positive outcome we all wish for and the shows will continue next year.  However, that does mean that our largest and last show of the year, our 29th annual Grand Motorbilia Day, is going ahead as planned next Sunday

Planning Update July 2015

The Public Inquiry took place on Tuesday 7th July and we felt that it went very well, fingers crossed for a positive result expected in the next few weeks.

Planning Update June 2015

Our Public Inquiry begins on Tuesday 7th July which is an appeal against the enforcement action served on us by Chelmsford City Council.  This is based on our contention that we are immune from this action as we have been using the land for various showground uses for more than 28 days per year for more than ten years and that there was a permanent material change of use from the very early 1990's from agriculture to showground.  We are therefore claiming lawful use.

The City Council is challenging this fact even though we have submitted substantial evidence to the contrary.  Although we are confident of success the decision will be made by the Government Planning Inspector in due course.

Thank you to all those that have shown their support and provided vital evidence.

Fingers crossed!

Don't forget to check out and like our Facebook page

Planning Update.  December 2014

There will be a Public Enquiry next July to hear our appeal against the enforcement notice served on us by Chelmsford City Council to cease the use of our showground for the staging of events.
The case will be based purely on law and fact and that we can prove existing lawful use, not on planning policy considerations.

Although we are very confident of success with the evidence we already have, we are still looking for documentary evidence to strengthen our case.  Particularly the various fairs, shows, rallies, receptions, parties, camping and caravanning weekends we held between the years 2000 and 2007.

Please contact me if you can help. 

In the meantime the events will continue as usual until the appeal decision is made towards the end of next summer.

Planning Update.  November 2014

Following the enforcement notice that came into effect on October 10th we have lodged an appeal.  The appeal reference is 14/00052/ENF and full details can be found at:

We are appealing on the grounds that we have Lawful Use of the Showground as it has been used solely for that purpose for a continuous period exceeding 28 days a year for at least the last ten years and therefore it is too late for the Council to take enforcement action.  We are not appealing the refusal of our planning permission application as this was applied for to give ourselves, residents and Council Officers an opportunity to suggest , negotiate and impose conditions on the use of the site.  Much to our surprise this option has not been taken despite all concerned being made aware of our fallback position in respect of the longstanding and established use of the showground.

The appeal will be heard by the Planning Inspectorate at a Public Enquiry in July next year and until a decision is made we will be running our shows and events next year as usual.

This appeal will be based purely on Law and Fact.  This means that only hard evidence is considered and comments for and against regarding planning merit , the benefit to the local economy, our excellent organising abilities and what a good bloke Jim is will not be taken into account!.

Although we are confident of a successful outcome - more evidence of past uses will strengthen our case.  In particular, events occurring between 2000 and 2005 other than our four main vehicle shows.  Over the years we have held many other events such as: Craft Fairs, Christmas Fayres, Caravan Rallies & Camping weekends for example The BSA East London Motorcycle Club camping weekend which we have hosted twice.  Day events include the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club Regional days, Parties, Receptions, Club Dinners and Barbeques all based around our marquee. 

If you have any documentary evidence of these events such as photographs, videos, tickets, invitations, newsletter articles etc please get in touch with

Dear friends of Battlesbridge Antiques Centre

Our planning application has not only been refused but an enforcement notice has been issued which comes into effect on October 10th. 

This means that the September Show is safe but to avoid the forced cease of use of our land as a showground that we will have to lodge an appeal before the 10th October. 

This we will be doing either as a straight forward appeal on the refusal of Planning Permission and/or on the grounds that we consider that we have Lawful Existing Use having used the facility for over 28 days a year for at least the last ten years and it has been continually been available as a showground complete with toilets, lighting masts, marquees, fencing, electrical connections together with well kept and mowed grass with no agricultural use since 1988.

We will now be seeking more evidence from past visitors and exhibitors of the ongoing use.  In particular we are looking for dated evidence by way of photographs, videos, newspaper and magazine articles and Club newsletters.

Please keep up with the latest news and updates on this page.

We will publish the appeal reference when known so you can leave response on the Chelmsford City Council planning website.

We are hoping that you can assist us in a planning matter concerning our showground at Battlesbridge.  If you have attended events organised here,
held your rallies, used the site for camping / caravanning, sports and recreation or held an event in the marquee on the land... 

We would like your support

We Need Your Support Although we have been using the site as a showground for about 25 years Chelmsford City Council have requested that we regularise town planning matters and have asked that we submit planning applications to retain the showground use and also the permanent events marquee that we installed in 2011. 

The applications have recently been submitted and are referenced:
14/00128/FUL for the showground use, and 14/00164/FUL for the retention of the events marquee. 

You can view the submitted documents on-line by visiting the following website and pasting in the reference numbers:

NB.  The Council's website has been experiencing some problems this week so all plans and documents can be found below.

We need your support

It would assist us if you would write to Chelmsford City Council and support our applications.  There are a few local residents who have objected to the longstanding uses at Muggeridge Farm and we would like to counterbalance their negative comments by demonstrating to the Council that very many more people support the showground and associated marquee and explain that it brings community, economic and leisure benefits to the Borough.  The Council's address is:

Chelmsford City Council,
FAO Mr Ken Smith, Planning Officer,
Plannin Department,
PO Box 7544,
Civic Centre,
Duke Street,
Essex CM1 1JE

Happy to answer your questions

We Need Your Support
If you are happy to support the application/s it would help if you write to the council in your own words (an e-mail of support can be submitted but letters are better) and explain who you are, how you came to know of the site (the use that you made of it), how long you have been attending events here and the benefits of the showground and marquee to you and the Borough in terms of leisure and tourism, the economy etc.  If you have been attending events or using the site for many years it would help my case if you could set this out in as much detail as possible in your reply to the Council. 

We would be happy to answer any queries that you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us . 

Jim Gallie
Phone: 01268 769000

I am away from 15th - 23rd February my planning agent will be pleased to assist:

Stewart Rowe
The Planning and Design Bureau Ltd
Land-Use Planning and Architecture
45 Hart Road, Thundersley, Benfleet, Essex, SS7 3PB

Telephone: 01268 758999 / 07960 917174

Planning Documents

Post Author: pat crook

pat crook

I have enjoyed these shows and so have all my family and friends we have been enjoying the car shows the motorbike shows for many years with so many communities and business going to the wall it would be a very bad call to lose these facilities there is a lot of firms that would have to close as it would have a knock on effect .  The people who seem to complain live behind a pub why buy a house behind a pub that has been there 200 years and then complain about it sadly some people are not happy unless they are complaining and want to spoil other peoples lives.  they are called killjoys.

Post Author: Penny


I am writing to you as we attended a car rally in the 1980s and really enjoyed it.I am now living in the Hockley area and have just visited your website for any up and coming events .Lets hope it is here to remain .I will be taking along my grandsons which I know they will enjoy .

Post Author: David W Lewis

David W Lewis

The loss of Battlesbridge as an event platform would be inconceivable.The two Automobilia shows that i have participated in for the last 20-5 years is a big bookmark on my calendar.  It is a meeting place to catch up with old friends and customers ,one father and son who I met at the first show all those years ago was a youngster with an avid passion for cars encouraged by his Father ,now a father himself with grown children,he now brings with Grandpa !To take away this institution would be a travesty for both those who attend the splendid shows ,the organisers ,exhibitors and traders both within the shows and those in the locale Please do not allow this to happen to many of these events are dsappearing into the mist !.
Hopefully I will see you on Sunday 11th May,stupidly missed last September event ,had a very inconvenient heart atatck and bypass surgery.
Keep up the good work Jim and all the others David W Lewis

Post Author: claire ward

claire ward

We have been going to car shows here for years ad a family.  My children love these shows and have spent hours taking photos and looking around.  These events are great for locals as there isn't much if anything like this in our area.
I fail to understand why people complain these events are well managed and organised.  They don't carry on till the early hours of the morning and bring people from far and wide.
It's sad to hear that some people want to distroy a lot of people's fun and hobbies! I hope the shows continental and grow!!

Post Author: Jim Gallie

Jim Gallie

Thank you to all those who have responded to our request with positive support for our planning applications.  There is still time to send in comments to the Council.  Please contact me if you need more info.  Jim

Post Author: Eddy Knight

Eddy Knight

Hi is the news that you have lost your planning battle true

Post Author: Colin Frier

Colin Frier

Among the best Car Shows on offer and at a very reasonable price have been attending for many years and always had a good time don´t let the kill joys stop it.

Post Author: angela bonner

angela bonner

Have attended the spring car event for several years as part of the Austin Healey group.  This is one of the first of the season and many of us look forward to an enjoyable event with such a variety of things to do in a lovely village setting, plenty of under cover places if the weather turns nasty, and it must bring in a lot of revenue for the pub and other traders.  Cannot understand people objecting to a few days a year of minor inconvenience when the pub and trading offshoots have been there for so long.  Indeed some join in, selling garden produce at their gate, so why do some others have to be killjoys?

Post Author: colin tyrrell

colin tyrrell

This is a great venue for car shows and we as a car club attend three a year .
The battlesbridge team make sure safety is number one priority for family's to come and have a great day out
looking forward to attending many more shows and events here
kind regards
colin .

Post Author: paul and chris

paul and chris

we have been attending shows and events at battlesbridge for a good few years both car and motorcycle events and have enjoyed every moment there always well organised and i cannot believe anyone could object to such a well organised event

Post Author: Ted Galbraith

Ted Galbraith

Having just come back from the show today it would be very sad if the events have to come to an end, My daughter and I have been going to the shows for over 20 years and what a great days out they are.  To whoever is trying to stop these events please think again, it really cant be a logical decision to want to stop people having a good time, harmlessly at that! families, children and enthusists coming together cant be that much of a problem surely!

Post Author: mike earley ford v8 club

mike earley ford v8 club

We have been to all the classic car show events for the last several years and it would be a shame to lose these events puzzled as to why the nieghbours are complaining now when the show have been going since the early 1980s its true what the previous writer said some one just moves into the area ie behind the pub/ show ground then starts complaning

Post Author: Dave Mann

Dave Mann

I have attended many classic vehicle related events at Battlesbridge over many years, all of which have been excellently run and enjoyed by many people displaying their vehicles and those looking to display.  I have also showed my Greeves motorcycle as part of the Greeves Riders Association 50 year event..  see clip on You Tube.  .

Post Author: john morris

john morris

my family and i have been attending the shows for so long i cant remember when we started ,we now take our grankids all 5 they love it as much as us we have a 1950 mg 4 door salon which we show and its great to see people year after year they all remember the car old cars and bikes need to get out just like people and some need a reason to go out so a car or bike show gets you out what ever your age if you haven,t tried it you should my wife works hard and says its agreat way to relax hope to see you soon .

Post Author: Chris Drewe

Chris Drewe

Please see letter below sent by me to Essex Chronicle earlier in year:

"BATTLESBRIDGE CAR SHOWS" -- Essex Chronicle, Mar 6th, 2014.

Having enjoyed classic-car shows at Battlesbridge for many years, I was
dismayed to read that they may be stopped ("Battlesbridge Row", Essex
Chronicle, March 6th) due to traffic concerns, although I can see the
problem -- on several occasions it's taken me at least an hour to get into
or out of the showground, sometimes with queues backing up to the A130!

Part of the trouble is that the whole site is rather tucked in between
the river and the railway, without easy access from main roads.
Furthermore, visitors' cars entering the showground have to negotiate the
antiques centre yard (usually with loads of pedestrians around) then wait
in line to pay for admission, while at the end of the afternoon hundreds of
cars converge on one or two tiny gates out onto Maltings Rd.

Maybe slicker marshalling (usually by scouts, cadets, etc.) and/or
allowing people to park before buying their admission tickets would speed
up entry and exit.  Exhibitors gain access via the road past the railway
station, and if visitors could use this it would keep traffic off Maltings

Whatever happens, it would be a shame if a regular event is cancelled
for being TOO popular!

Chris Drewe, Baker St.

Post Author: Dave Barlow

Dave Barlow

The events held at the battlesbridge show ground are always well run with minor inconvenience to the locals.  They bring revenue to the resident antique shops and pubs.  The needs of the many are greater than the needs of the few.

Post Author: steve bourke

steve bourke

Having been attending the 2 automobilia for quite some years now as an exhibiter with the Elf/ Hornet register it will be a sad day if this and all the other events are stopped by a small minority of killjoys!!!!!!!!

Post Author: b pittman

b pittman

i have been attending battlebridge shows since the 80s i am now 68 there isnt much going on within a reasonable distance for people who are interested in old vehicles there is also the antique centre for the wives when they get fed up so why spoil a good thing that has brought pleasure to thousands of people and hopefully continues to do so on the complaints of a handful of people who need to get a life keep up your good efforts to carry on giving many more thousand a great day out with reasonable cost brian

Post Author: Brian Loftus

Brian Loftus

I have attended Battlebridge car shows for many years with my cars.  The car shows in this area are now getting few and far between, due to the stupid heath and safety brigade, and to lose Battlebridge would be almost a disaster to local classic car owners, So many shows have been halted over my time as an enthusiast, as for the local residents, I am sure they could get a house exchange with one of the classic owners

Post Author: Julie Diplock

Julie Diplock

Events such as this provide enjoyment to thousands of people, and enable historic vehicles to be preserved for future generations.  They also generate income for the local community, and should be encouraged, not banned.

Post Author: janice lee-starns

janice lee-starns

I am sad that Battlesbridge event may not be continuing due to planning being refused.  I attend most of the events being held at this venue, I have always thought it was an ideal location and brings customers to Battlesbridge who would not otherwise give local business trade.  It is ideal as there a not to many local residents and only hope that they also support Battlesbridge and that the events continue.

Post Author: Trev


To lose this wonderful amenity would be a tragic loss for this part of Essex.  I have attended the classic car and auto jumble events for many years so am surprised that after all this time Essex county council has decided that it can no longer continue.  This mean spirited decision is typical of the petty mindedness of officialdom nowadays and will have nothing but a negative effect for this area and all the classic car enthusiasts and supporters.  For many of us who look forward to the yearly events and own classic cars, Battlesbridge is just about the furthest we would chance to drive to as sometimes our cars are not that reliable and as it is regarded by many as probably the biggest and the best classic car event in Essex where else would we go? I do hope Mr Gallie wins his appeal for all our sakes.  Good luck.

Post Author: Kerry bowers

Kerry bowers

We've been holding our Volkswagen show here for many years now, and it's getting bigger anymore popular as people love the area and what battlesbridge has to offer.  With all the shows throughout the year inc ours I feel it brings a lot of revenue to the antiques Center itself.  For the past two years we've also camped at the show ground with just a select few, about 7/10 volkswagens.  We keep it quiet, and enjoy what's on offer from the hot showers to local attractions.  It would beach a shame to loose what is a favourite of many.

Post Author: Jill Fowler

Jill Fowler

It would be a great shame if the classic carshows and other event are stopped on this site.  We have been and enjoyed some lovely days at many shows.  It is well run with all facilities.  And a look around the Antiques is an added bonus.  Please lift the ban and let the fun continue.

Post Author: Gary Dines

Gary Dines

I have attended the autumn classic car show for several years and have found it a valuable venue for obtaining car parts from the many traders and also for gaining knowledge from like minded enthusiasts.
It is obvious from the numbers of both exhibitors and showgoers that the majority of people are in favour of these shows and that they are vital to introduce people to the classic car world and keep our history alive.
I just hope everyone who has heard about this has also made the effort to write to the council and shared this news with other like minded people.

Post Author: Martin Crammond

Martin Crammond

The events at Battlesbridge, particularly the Bike shows are brilliant and well run, we attend most years and have a great day, so I hope this goes the right way for you and the council see sense although that would be original.

Post Author: jeffrey sleet

jeffrey sleet

I have exhibited at your event since inception and is the only one i attend these days and would not miss it for the world,taking my cars and motorbikes to show people.I enjoy it immensely as does all my family.I will be writing to mr ken smith to express my concerns.

Post Author: Sharon & Mark Nott

Sharon & Mark Nott

Have been the past 2 years to the car shows on the recommendation of friends and the atmosphere is fantastic with all different types of people attending.  Whether you are a car enthusiast (as my husband) or just like the look of the many different vehicles, or even wander round the stalls & antique shops its definately the place to visit.  Such events are few and far, but very, very welcome, hence the number of people attending.  Maybe if local people were to experience the atmosphere themselves, they would change their minds.  We live in Windsor and yes the tourists come in their coaches, but it's what makes our country great and supports our economy or maybe we should just close all our attractions!!! Long may Battlesbridge reign and thanks Jim et al for all your hard work.  Looking forward to visiting next months show.

Post Author: steve ( steve's stainless)

steve ( steve's stainless)

I have attended several shows at Battlesbridgce , from bike to car and boat , as a trader and have always enjoyed a great reception from the organiser and the local ( and non local ) people attending.  I personally have travelled from as far away as Newcastle upon Tyne , now only the Midlands to trade.  The events have never failed to attract a good level of clientele and have never created any problems that I was aware of.  In fact the shows have always run very smoothly and be enjoyed by young and old alike , with a great atmosphere.

Post Author: Dave Thomas

Dave Thomas

I have been attending many shows at Battlesbridge showground for many many years and found them very enjoyable,I can see no reason for the council to spoil thousands of people's enjoyment Dave Thomas

Post Author: Dave Green

Dave Green

I Cannot remember the first time we attended an event at Battlesbridge its that long ago, since then we attend the car shows and auto/boat jumbles and combine that with a look round the centre as a whole.  We always buy from the stalls and fixed traders .  These Traders depend on the events and shows to boost trade and increase publicity for the centre as a whole, without the events and the numbers of customers they attract I seriously doubt that any of them could make a worthwhile living .
Car shows and events like these are a good affordable day out especially for families with young children and pensioners alike.  For those older persons living alone with an interest in these things it is a good opportunity to make new friends, we have met a lot of such people who look forward to these events.  It is fairly typical of a council not to realise the damage they will cause by closing such events down to the detriment of the entire community both economically and socially.

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