SweetTree Fields NW7 4EY – Unlawful Development

Junction of Highwood Hill and Marsh Lane NW7, Rising Sun ahead.
Entrance to fields to right of Rising Sun
Rising Sun and entrance to fields top right
Site – centre of picture

Site Address: SweetTree Fields Marsh Lane London NW7 4EY

Update 27/06/2019
Despite the application being refused by the Barnet Local Area Planning Committee, this refusal has been withdrawn and is now to go to Full Committee on 24/07/2019.

We understand Legal Counsel has been consulted and invited to speak.

The legality of Barnet’s actions since the last Planning Committee meeting are hopefully to be challenged; Barnet Council will not disclose any information about how the conclusion to set aside the Committee’s decision has been reached, we understand that all the the reasons are ‘planning reasons’ … this is despite residents against the proposal – requesting information from three separate planning specialists – a planning consultant, barrister and solicitor, being sought and presented already – links to these are all on this page below.

Enforcement notice
The enforcement notice (ref: ENF/00355/17 of 25/06/2018) who’s period ended on 4th May 2019 – has not been enforced, with its date being extended.

Update 30/05/2019
Hendon Area Planning Committee, 30th May 2019 Application Ref: 19/0581/RCU
Retention of Unlawful Care Farming Facility, Sweet Tree Fields, Marsh Lane, London NW7 4EY
The Planning Application 19/0581/RCU was REFUSED at Committee Meeting on a vote of 5 against, 1 for and 1 abstention, despite the Planning Officers report for approval and the rowdy supporters of the “care farm”.

Barnet Council Enforcement Notice to be complied with:
Without planning permission the use of the land for “care farming” and the construction of ancillary buildings, structures and pathways.

Behind a familiar sight – some of us see every day, a large area of historic and valuable Green Belt has been subject to illegal development.

It is believed that around 2013 the owner decided to start developing the 6.42 hectares of land (approx 16 acres) – without planning permission.

A ‘Retrospective’ planning application was brought by the land owner 17/7627/RCU,
but subsequently refused by Committee, and the decision not subject to an appeal by the applicant.
The land is subject to Enforcement notice (ref: ENF/00355/17 of 25/06/2018), deadline for compliance is 4th May 2019 – and requires the removal of:

1) Farm Shelter
2) Pigsty
3) Shed 1
4) Shed 2
5) Shed 3
6) Store
7) Toilet
8) Paths
9) Roadways

The landowner has since made two further applications in recent months, accepted by the Council for determination – application refs: 19/0581/RCU (31-01-2019) and 19/1204/192 (01-03-2019) – see below.

However residents have sought legal advice – which exposes the councils unwillingness to protect our Green Belt.

In addition it is not just the councils desire not to appear to protect the green belt, but to give credence to an application which is materially the same as prior ones previously refused and as previously noted – not subject to an appeal.

It is understood from the local authority that they see ‘care farming’ as possessing the same use class as ‘agriculture’, when clearly by law it is not, and that if it is the same level of development, it is not consistent with a small holding for agricultural farming.

It is clear that ‘very special circumstances’ have not been demonstrated for the development in the green belt.

Also Understood is that the Land was previously purchased by Bruno Limited for the purpose of maintaining it as a green field and open space to preserve a natural barrier behind Owners houses and to ensure it was not developed

Legal opinions
Mishcon de Reya – 19-0581-RCU 04.03.2019.pdf
Mishcon de Reya – 19-1204-192 08.03.201.pdf
Richard Clarke – Landmark Chambers 19-0581-RCU 04.03.19.pdf

Detailed Planning objections
Lavata Group – 09-0581-RCU 04.03.19.pdf
Objection Letter – York Lodge.pdf

Supporting professional advice & information
Agricultural study:
Skinner Holden 19-0581-RCU 2019-03-06.pdf
Appeal decision:
3139117 appeal decision.pdf
3139117 appeal decision Costs.pdf

If you wish to object to this unlawful development and manipulation of our planning system, please urgently email or write to Barnet Council Planning.

The recent planning applications:

Application Ref: 19/0581/RCU
Received : 31st January 2019 (determination date: 28th March 2019)
Use of agricultural land for care farming with retention of ancillary buildings, structures, pathways and access road (RETROSPECTIVE APPLICATION)
(Retention of Unlawful Care Farming Facility)
To view the application and leave online objections please go to:

Application Ref: 19/1204/192
Received: 1st March 2019 (determination date: 29th April 2019)
Use of land/buildings for the purpose of agriculture
(Certificate of Lawfulness for Land/Buildings for the Purposes of Agriculture)
To view the application and leave online objections please go to:

A general guide here on how to make your objections based on planning matters – that will be considered by the planning officers on the case, some helpful tips:

Barnet Council will close the website for on-line submission of objections at some point, but you can still email or send in a letter of objection prior to the determination date:

Principal Planning Officer: Jaydine Keenan

Alternative to online comments, you may email: planning.consultation@barnet.gov.uk

Or write to :

Barnet Council – Planning
Barnet House
1255 High Road
N20 0EJ

Please quote the application references: 19/0581/RCU and 19/1204/192

General advice on commenting on the Barnet Planning Website can be found here: