Agenda item


The Chairman introduced the next item of the meeting, application number 145118, to erect 1no. dwelling – resubmission of 143877 on land adjacent 5 Beck Hill, Tealby, Market Rasen, LN8 3XS. The Officer stated that there was one update, which was an additional letter of support for the application, and then gave a short presentation on the application.


The Chairman advised that there were 3 statements, with these to be read out by the Democratic and Civic Officer. The first was from the applicants, Nik and Jools Ferrier-Hanslip. The following statement was read out.


“Good evening. The officer’s report is well considered and recommended for approval as they have judged that the proposal fits with local and national planning policy. You may recall that a similar application was brought before committee in March which was recommended for approval, but unfortunately the members moved the application for refusal siting grounds of character and amenity.


You can obviously understand our frustration as we spent a long period of time getting the design of the property right and the approval from the then conservation officer Liz Mayle. I understand she is a person of extreme professionalism who takes pride and diligence in her role passionate about conserving the local areas. Basing all decisions on local planning policies and her professional opinion.


In essence she would not have given backing to the proposals if she thought it would be harmful to local character. To address this previous reason for refusal we have revisited the scheme and made extensive amendments, I would also like to make you aware that the previous scheme is also subject to an appeal which we would be willing to withdraw if you accept the officer’s recommendation for approval of this new application.


At first glance this design may look similar to the previous but as already stated this is what the planning office deemed acceptable. We didn’t want to change the location, style, or the shape of the building, but what we have done is reduce it in size by 44%! We have reduced both the buildings in length and width, lowered it by a further 80cm and removed the basement. We have also had visual images produced so you can see exactly how it will sit at a much-reduced level on the plot and look very much in keeping with its surroundings and setting.


We took on board the comments from the previous committee and we would like to address them. Firstly, one of the members comments last time was “it obviously doesn’t fit in with the style of Tealby”. No two houses on Beck Hill are the same. There are brick, stone and rendered houses, timber clad houses, tiny cottages, large barns and even a 1990’s bungalow. Some have UPVC windows, others are wooden casement. Some have tiled roofs, others are slate. Photos have been shown. So, we were confused by that comment.


Sections 2.3 and 2.4 of the Tealby Conservation Area Appraisal refer to the character of the village and Beck Hill stating that “Dwellings and buildings have been historically squeezed in over time and provide an informal character to the village”. After a consultation with the conservation officer, it was she that suggested the proposed design. She drew the size, shape, and position of the dwelling.


One that she deemed suitable in her professional capacity to fit in and not have a negative effect on the surrounding area. Or be contrary to LP17 and LP26. All we have done is put the details on. The visuals clearly show a traditional style dwelling which reflects the older properties in the village. We will utilise high quality materials and finishes to produce a dwelling which is fitting of the location.


Secondly, a councillor asked about the differences to the previous application that was taken to appeal. If you have studied the supporting documents you will see that our new design is completely different to the one that was dismissed at appeal 3 years ago. In terms of style, mass, orientation, position, height, and scale it is much smaller.


Thirdly, concerns were raised regarding amenity space and privacy. The planning officer has considered both, for this scheme and the previous scheme, and considers that amenity space and privacy are acceptable and meet the relevant legislation. The new amendments have actually increased the level of amenity space. We have calculated that the proposed property will have 78% amenity/garden space. This is compared to houses recently approved for development in Tealby which have 49% garden space. The proposed dwelling causes no overlooking issues with neighbouring properties. There is a 4 meter high laurel hedge on the southern boundary. Fourthly, the Water Course as referred to by councillors is actually a water feature created by ourselves.


Before attending the previous meeting, we researched what would happen. On both West Lindsey’s website and the Gov website it states that access must not be discussed. However, this was brought up 5 or 6 times! Even after the planning officer explained access is not a planning matter but a civil matter. We were also left disappointed by the lack of reasoning behind the committee’s decision to refuse. It states within – House of Commons Library Document.


‘In cases where councillors overturn the advice of officer’s reasons have to be given. The LGA/PAS guide to probity in planning for councillors and officers suggests that councillors should be ready to explain why they have not accepted the officer’s recommendation. All reasons for refusing permission must be given in detail. Decisions must be based on fact; not personal opinion and those facts must be stated clearly.’


We don’t believe we were given valid reasons. We wrote to each councillor individually asking them to explain their reasons and for advice going forward with our next application. We received only two replies.


Finally, I’d like to talk about the last three years and the effect that this has had on us mentally and emotionally. Particularly these last few months. I don’t think any of you can possibly understand so I’m going to try to explain.


In March I explained the main reason for wanting to build our home was our desire to adopt another baby and remain in the village to care for our disabled father. We could be building that home now and looking forward to sharing it with a new baby. And that’s the reality: It’s not just about bricks, it’s not about access or roof heights, it’s about lives and changing them for the better. It’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons.


And that is all we are trying to do. In conclusion we hope you can see that we have addressed all your previous concerns and created a characterful home causing no harm to the street scene and conservation area. Over the last 3 years we have done everything asked of us by the planning office to ensure that all planning policies are adhered to.”


The Chairman thanked the Democratic and Civic Officer for reading the statement. He advised that there were two objectors, and invited the Democratic and Civic Officer to read out the first statement from Gail Firkin. The following statement was read aloud.


Note:               Councillor R. Patterson left the Chamber at 8.35 pm.


“As the owner of the neighbouring bungalow, Lark Rise, 5A Beck Hill, Tealby I have the following concerns:


Proposed Visuals. The proposed visuals shown on the planning portal misrepresent the actual space available for the proposed dwelling. Part of my front garden has been obliterated and is shown as a new driveway and garden for the proposed dwelling and therefore is not a true representation of the proposed site. Right of Way. The host dwelling does have a Right of Way over my drive but it is for one dwelling house only.


Residential Amenity. The overdevelopment of the site would adversely affect my residential amenity due to overlooking, over dominance and lack of parking provision in this small space. Site Location Plan (edged in red). This gives an inaccurate indication of the boundary, no part of my driveway forms part of the land owned by the host dwelling. Thank you.”


Note:               Councillor R. Patterson returned to the Chamber at 8.37 pm.


The Chairman then invited the Democratic and Civic Officer to read the final statement, from a second objector, Andrew Laing. The following statement was read aloud.


“My wife and I have been residents of Beck Hill for sixteen years. Our house is some forty yards from the proposed new dwelling. The proposed dwelling would be about fifteen feet above our house. Our objections to the proposal are summarised below:


Beck Hill Dangers.Beck Hill is a narrow road without pavements or parking places. It is part of The Viking Way and is used by local pedestrians (children, elderly residents and their pets) as well as walkers making use of the Viking Way. In recent months the traffic on the road has increased due to speeding delivery vehicles. Pedestrians are obliged to flatten themselves against the roadside hedges to avoid accidents. The proposed new household would further add to the danger of accidents on the hill.


Risk of subsidence and new springs. Our house, 8 Beck Hill, suffered from subsidence for many years due to a leak in the village hall that is close to the proposed dwelling, At the same time springs appeared in our garden preventing us from making use of our lawn and caused a permanent stream on Beck Hill. In freezing temperatures there were several accidents due to icing on the stream. The matter was resolved due to the intervention of a neighbour. Bully Hill is notorious for springs and land slips and the delicate balance that has been established risks being destroyed by the proposal.


Congestion. The crossing between Front Street, Beck Hill and the shop Is always busy. In particular there are problems during term time when children are dropped off and collected. The car park is frequently full and traffic becomes entangled with vehicles trying to escape the problem. The proposal is for a dwelling in the centre of this area and would exacerbate the dangers involved.


Out of Character. The heart of the village comprises Front Street and Beck Hill which are well known for their attractiveness such that many visitors come to enjoy the village. The proposal would risk downgrading the reputation of the area. Thank you.”


The Chairman thanked the Democratic and Civic Officer for reading the statement, and invited a response from the Planning Officer. In response, the Development Management Team Manager stated that the comments were more in line with the previously considered application, and advised the Committee to only consider the application that was submitted. In response to the critiques of the right of way, this was not part of West Lindsey District Council’s consideration of planning permission, with it being a civil matter. The Officer also stated that the concerns about subsidence and traffic numbers were minimal, as dwellings were already established, and that the application was only considering a single dwelling.


The Chairman then invited comments from Members of the Committee. Debate ensued, and Members debated the access of the proposed property, the possible interference to the immediate neighbours due to the access and egress of the proposed property, and the proposed design of the application. Members also raised the potential disturbance to the immediate neighbouring properties, and comments of possible decrease in the value of properties. There was also conversation about the existing hedges and trees on the site.


In response to a query about access, Members heard that the access came off the hill, and was already a tarmacked area. In a similar query about tree protections, Members learnt that they could condition the tree for retention.


During the debate, Members asserted that the application in front of them did not improve much of the problems highlighted in a previously refused application. Members proposed and seconded that the application be refused for the same reasons as a previous application had been. At the end of the deliberation, the Development Management Team Manager confirmed this, reading out the refusal reason, and suggested consideration by Members of whether the amended scheme overcame the previously highlighted issues.


Having been proposed and seconded, the Chairman took the vote and, it was agreed that planning permission be REFUSED for the following reasons:


The proposed dwelling would result in the over-development of the site. It would, as a result of its scale, mass and positioning, be overbearing and would result in harm to the prevailing character and amenity of the surrounding area. This would be contrary to LP17 and LP26 of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan.


Supporting documents: