ITV newsreader Alastair Stewart wades into planning row

ITV newsreader Alastair Stewart wades into planning row by objecting to family store’s extension five miles from leafy village where he lives in £1.8million six-bed detached home

  • Alastair Stewart has voiced his concerns in a planning permissions row
  • The ITV newsreader is objecting to plans to expand a family-run garden store 
  • Long Barn, in Hampshire, wants to expand the number of products on sale
  • The shop wants to extend its cafe, which Stewart worries could destroy the ‘character’ of the peaceful town of Alresford – almost five miles from his village

ITV newsreader Alastair Stewart has waded into a planning row in a town almost five miles from the leafy village where he lives in a £1.8 million home.

The TV presenter is objecting over retrospective plans to expand the number of products on sale at Long Barn – a family-run home and garden store in Alresford, Hampshire. 

Stewart, 66, and his wife Sally blasted the expansion plans at Long Barn, claiming it was ‘quite alien’ to the character of the area and that residents would ‘lose control’ of their community.

The shop also wants to extend its cafe, which Stewart claims could destroy the ‘character’ of the peaceful town. 

Alastair Stewart is objecting over retrospective plans to expand the number of products on sale at Long Barn – a family-run home and garden store in Alresford, Hampshire

Stewart, 66, and his wife Sally blasted the expansion plans at Long Barn (pictured), claiming it was ‘quite alien’ to the character of the area

Stewart’s objections come despite him living four and a half miles away, in a six-bed detached home in the leafy village of Bramdean, Hampshire.

Local traders claim the increase in products at Long Barn is unfairly damaging their businesses.

The planning row in the small town, close to the cathedral city of Winchester, has divided residents, with 150 letters of objection and around 200 in support.

In his letter, Stewart said: ‘I object to any abuse, by the owners, of existing permissions.

‘Without the strict adherence to such permissions, we lose control of our communities, our amenities and our countryside.

Directors of family-run Long Barn Richard Norris and Jane Marsden (pictured) defended their expansion plans

‘Second, I object to any further permissions because what was initially a modest and useful retail offer has grown out of all recognition.

‘Finally, I object on the basis that a longer term intention of utilising full retail permissions may well be used for a purpose quite alien to the character of Alresford.

‘We live in Bramdean and Alresford is our closest town. We consider ourselves as close neighbours and nearly residents.’

Directors of family-run Long Barn, which opened in Alresford 12 years ago, Richard Norris and Jane Marsden defended their expansion plans.

Pictured: A curving street through Alresford, Hampshire, with a pub in the distance

In a statement, the Mr Norris and Ms Marsden said: ‘We have built our business from selling at farmers markets to our current home and garden store. We now employ 60 local people and many of [those objecting] have sons, daughters, friends and family who work with us’

In a statement, they said: ‘We have built our business from selling at farmers markets to our current home and garden store.

‘We now employ 60 local people and many of [those objecting] have sons, daughters, friends and family who work with us.

‘The growth of our business has meant that we have outgrown the limitations of our original planning permissions.

‘Since November 2018 we have been working with the council, at their request, on a retrospective application to correct this. Through this planning application, we are seeking to regularise our trading position.’

Winchester City Council, which is overseeing the application, is currently considering the letters in objection and support of the expansion.

Source: Read Full Article