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taken by the Council they have accepted the argument that the land has become lawful as a permanent showground, and withdrawn the notice.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: acp.planningportal.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?caseid=2227011
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.
Don't forget to check out and like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/battlesbridge
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
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,
PO Box 7544,
Essex CM1 1JE
Happy to answer your questions
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 .
Phone: 01268 769000
I am away from 15th - 23rd February my planning agent will be pleased to assist:
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 and Design and Access Statement MARQUEE FINAL (127kb)
- Marquee Plan and Elevations (101kb)
- Site Location Plan Marquee (290Kb)
- Planning and Design and Access Statement SHOWGROUND FINAL (124kb)
- Site Location Plan Hawk Hill Access (116Kb)
- Statement of Consultation and Community Involvement (2.3Mb)
- Site Location and Disposition of uses Plan Final (454Kb)
- Aerial Photographs (3.9Mb)