Deferral for site inspection.
Mo Anderson-Dungar (Colby with Banningham Parish Council)
Ann Bartaby (supporting)
The Senior Planning Officer presented the report. He displayed plans and photographs of the site, including plans which had been approved under Class Q and photographs of the building prior to development and as currently existing. He recommended refusal of this application as set out in the report.
The Interim Development Manager explained that the extent of rebuilding which was required meant that the proposal was not a conversion of an agricultural building which would comply with Class Q. The proposal was considered to be new build in an unsustainable location. Other powers were available to deal with untidy sites.
Councillor J Toye, the local Member, considered Aim 1 of the Core Strategy was relevant given the personal circumstances related to service life and family members who were disabled or elderly. In addition, the proposal would meet Aim 3 of the Core Strategy to protect and enhance the environment and to protect, restore and enhance the landscape and biodiversity. He referred to the local support for this proposal. He supported the plans to include natural hedging, encourage wildlife and use renewable resources. The dwelling would replace a derelict shed, and a family home would be a welcome addition. He explained that technical difficulties and miscommunication had led to the contraventions and the applicants had stopped building as soon as they had become aware of it. The dwelling would be built on the footprint of the previously approved application and would include the remains of the existing building. He stated that policy EN8 did not specify how much of the original building could be replaced. He considered that this application should be approved.
Councillor A Yiasimi considered that the unauthorised work had not been done on purpose.
Councillor A Brown asked if the Authority had expressed sympathy for the applicant having been given incorrect advice. It was necessary to apply planning policy and having listened to the circumstances he understood the need for the project to proceed. However, he found it difficult to understand to what extent the development carried out to date was conversion and new build and what percentages constituted conversion and new build. He suggested that a site inspection may clarify the matter.
The Head of Planning explained that officers had met with the applicant and her representatives and had endeavoured at length to try to find a solution. On the basis of the advice given, the applicant had chosen to proceed with the solution which was before the Committee. Officers had expressed sympathy and had endeavoured to bring forward the applicant’s proposals to Committee in a timely manner.
Councillor A Brown proposed a site inspection.
Councillor N Pearce asked if the applicant could continue to build on the original foundations and asked for clarification with regard to conversion if foundations were retained.
The Head of Planning explained that case law was divided on this issue. He was unable to give a percentage of the building which should be retained but case law required that buildings were substantially retained. Local Plan policy required that buildings should be structurally sound and capable of conversion. Officers considered that there had been a substantial level of demolition but accepted that it had come about through misunderstanding of Part Q and there had been no deliberate intention to flout the rules.
Councillor Dr C Stockton seconded the proposal for a site inspection.
That consideration of this application be deferred to allow the Committee to carry out a site inspection.