Battle ‘fat camp’ expansion bid turned down by council

Fat man holding a measuring tape. Weight Loss.
Fat man holding a measuring tape. Weight Loss.

A company which runs weight loss retreats for the morbidly obese, has lost its bid to expand its business.

The owners of Fat-Off-Fit-On, based at Greenwood Cottage in Marley Lane, Battle, applied to knock down a stable and extend and convert a larger stable to provide accommodation for four clients of the fat camp.

But Rother District Council’s planning committee swiftly turned the plans down, citing concerns about noise and the impact on the character of the site.

However, a separate application to allow the firm to use a caravan on site as accommodation for three guests, divided councillors.

The caravan has been on the site for some time, so did not require planning permission. It was used as accommodation for three people who live at the house, and Fat-Off-Fit-On wanted to change its use to allow three clients to stay there for weeks or months at a time.

Cllr Tony Ganly (Con, Ewhurst and Sedlescombe) said: “The caravan is already being used and it’s authorised for ancillary use for residents.

“So even if we refuse this application, it will still be used to accommodate people.”

Cllr Mary Barnes (Con, Ticehurst and Etchingham) said: “This is one of those cases where you look at something and you take a personal view you cannot always articulate into something helpful when it comes to making an official view.”

She added: “I would be very worried about giving permission for a business in a caravan. It did not seem right when we looked at it.”

Planning officer Tim Hickling reminded them: “We need official planning reasons for refusal because if there is an appeal, we will need to defend it.”

Cllr Doug Oliver (Ind, Bexhill Collington) said he feared other activities were taking place on the site, adding: “There’s a punch bag hanging from a tree, so there’s obviously other activities going on there.”

Councillors approved the plans by seven votes to five.

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