A planning inspector has suggested that a developer’s bid to gain permission for a one-bedroom dwelling between Overdale and the Crematorium could have been part of a “land valuation process”, given that the land is needed for the island’s new hospital.
Brigham Young's application to build a new dwelling near Thorpe Cottage aimed to create a “farmstead-like group of buildings."
The planning application was refused last year, and then an appeal against the refusal was dismissed by the Environment Minister last week, following the inspector's report.
The application was submitted in August 2020, after previous plans to build a two-bedroom home on the site were rejected.
Both applications, he argued, were submitted “well before” a decision was made on the future hospital chosen site as the Government announced Overdale as its preferred site in October 2020.
Pictured: The site is located between Overdale Hospital and the crematorium.
While the future hospital project may involve compulsory purchase of the site, which sits on Westmount Road between Overdale Hospital and the Crematorium, Mr Young said the application should be assessed in isolation from the project, as he appealed against the latest refusal.
He argued that his proposals would strongly enhance the setting of Thorpe Cottage, a listed building comprising a three-bay dormer cottage with a pair of dower wings, with a design based on a “simplified barn typology” and locally used materials such as Jersey Granite and slate.
Planning permission was refused on several grounds, including the value of the site as an “open green space” and concerns over the development being “cramped” with not enough “good quality private amenity space”.
It was also suggested that the privacy of the day care centre users and of the dwelling’s residents would conversely be harmed and that the layout for on-site parking was “sub-standard” with not enough visibility.
The Committee were also concerned about the impact of the development of the “structural integrity” of the listed boundary wall of Thorpe Cottage.
Graham Self, the Planning Inspector who wrote a report on the appeal, noted that the application wrongly indicated the proposal didn’t affect a listed building or place.
In addition, the document indicated a residential unit already existed on the site despite there being none.
Pictured: Mr Self said both main parties had referred to the future hospital project and the related compulsory purchase of land in their statements.
In his report, Mr Self said both main parties had referred to the future hospital project and the related compulsory purchase of land in their statements.
“It seems that this appeal may be part of a land valuation process rather than an attempt to implement a development project,” he wrote. “Nevertheless, as the planning authority say, the appellant has a right to have the proposal considered on the assumed basis that there is no new hospital and no related redevelopment in the immediate vicinity of the appeal site.”
He therefore focused on the main issue of whether the site could satisfactorily accommodate the proposed dwelling, which he concluded it would not, due to its elongated shape and location. Describing the site as looking like “a raised roadside verge, albeit wider”, he said any development would be “severely constrained”.
He added the windows would face onto a “fairly busy access” and that the garden would only be a small one with limited privacy.
“What the appellant through his agent calls a ‘simplified barn typology’ would to many people be a small bungalow looking as if it had been squeezed onto a cramped site; but that is a matter for you as Minister to judge,” he wrote.
Mr Self also suggested Mr Young had “orchestrated” some of the letters written in support of the application, noting that the writers’ addresses were not close to the appeal site.
He concluded that the proposal would not be consistent with Island Plan Policies and recommended Mr Young’s appeal be dismissed, a decision which the Environment Minister, Deputy John Young, agreed with.
Mr Young is currently awaiting planning permission to demolish a two-storey home and associated buildings, to make way for two three-bedroom homes with parking on a separate piece of land near Overdale - a field earmarked for the two-storey mental health building on the planned £800m one-stop-shop health campus.
Pictured: Signs advertising homes on the site earmarked for a mental health building went up earlier this month.
According to the Planning register, the application submitted last year is currently awaiting a ‘planning obligation agreement’.
Earlier this month, signs advertising the proposed new homes went up near the field.
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