Agenda item

18/01302/HHA - The Lodge, Fen Lane, Bulphan Essex RM14 3RL


This application sought planning permission for a side and rear extension. The site is within the Green Belt and the recommendation was for refusal. The property had Permitted Development rights removed when the dwelling was rebuilt in 2003, which meant planning permission would be required for any extensions to the property.


Councillor Rice proposed a site visit as it was someone’s home on which the extension would be needed.  It would not be unreasonable for a resident to request for an extension he stated. He considered that the property is hidden away behind an 8 foot wall with a garage.


Councillor Piccolo sought clarification on when the Permitted Development rights were removed. The Principal Planner explained, when the property was rebuilt in 2003 they used the entire allowance of extensions allowed under the then, Local Plan policy and permitted development rights were therefore removed.


Councillor Lawrence felt there was no reason for a site visit as it was not a manor house, the applicant just wanted to make their property bigger.


The Chair said this application was similar to a previous one and it would need to be heard on its own merits although it was concerning that the Permitted Development rights had been removed. 


Members voted on a site visit, which was proposed by Councillor Rice and seconded by Councillor Shinnick.


As the vote was equal, the Assistant Director - Planning, Transport and Public Protection wanted clarification from Democratic Services as to what the outcome would be on the vote.


Democratic Services agreed that the Chairs vote would have a second or casting vote and there would be no restriction on how the Chair chooses to exercise a casting vote. This was noted in the Council’s Constitution Chapter 5 Part 2 – page 125. The Chair voted against the site visit, accordingly the motion fell.


The Chair explained it was not that an excessive application, and although the Permitted Development rights were important it was something that should be reviewed through the new Local Plan process.


Councillor Rice advised that the Permitted Development rights were removed in 2003 and the applicant was requesting an extension he did not understand why this was being refused as it would not be affecting anyone, and additionally there was an 8 foot wall to outside the property. He did not see any great problem with this extension being proposed as it was a reasonable request, although the Green Belt needed to be protected, it also needs to be proactive and the Borough is in need for of larger properties.


Councillor Rice advised that he would be supporting this application as the Permitted Development rights were removed around 15 years ago.


The Chair sought clarification on the Local Plan and asked if this issue could be explored to protect the Green Belt. The Assistant Director - Planning, Transport and Public Protection wanted Members to be aware of the openness, as the property already had two reasonably sized rooms and the applicant was requesting for a significantly bigger extension with no very special circumstances. He referred back to the questions asked by the Chair and confirmed that all the policies would be reviewed within due course.


Mr Taylor, Campaign to Protect Rural England Representative stated that the property was in the Green Belt and the property will already have open space around. He was concerned that if this application was to be approved it would be difficult to refuse this or other applications in the future.


It was proposed by Councillor Liddiard (Vice-Chair) and seconded by Councillor Piccolo for the application to be refused, as per the Officers recommendations.


For:                  (4) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Steve Liddiard (Vice-Chair), Angela Lawrence and Terry Piccolo


Against:           (3) Councillors Andrew Jefferies, Gerard Rice and Sue Shinnick.


Abstain:           (0)


Councillor Churchman did not vote on this item.




That the application be refused as per recommendation.


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