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Appeal leads to clearer rules on converting buildings to visitor lets

Appeal leads to clearer rules on converting buildings to visitor lets

Wednesday 07 December 2022

Appeal leads to clearer rules on converting buildings to visitor lets

Wednesday 07 December 2022


Owners of tourist lets in the countryside will not be able to let units out to any one person for more than 28 continuous days a year and will have to keep a register of occupants for inspection.

It comes after a planning appeal clarified the rules around visitor accommodation.

The extra detail recommended by an independent inspector, who oversaw a recent appeal against the conversion of outbuildings in St. Ouen, supplements a policy in the Bridging Island Plan and has been accepted by the Environment Minister.

Policy ‘EV1’ in the three-year plan refers to visitor accommodation. With regards to tourist lets in the countryside, it states: “Proposals for the development of new self-catering visitor accommodation will be supported where it involves the re-use and conversion of traditional farm buildings or where it can provide a viable use for listed buildings. 

“In both cases, such accommodation must remain in tourism accommodation use only; this will be secured through the use of planning conditions or obligation agreements.”

The more detailed restrictions defined by the inspector will now be applied as a standard planning condition.

They came out of an appeal against an application to convert outbuildings into six self-catering units in Rue de la Robeline. 

The application was passed by the Planning Committee in May but a neighbour lodged a third-party appeal.

Pictured: The application referred to a group of outbuildings close to a farmhouse in St. Ouen.

Planning inspector Philip Staddon rejected most of the appeal, finding that the proposal was “desirable and welcome”. 

He added: “It would transform a range of important and largely unused Listed outbuildings into visitor accommodation. 

“I attach significant weight to the support found in BIP policies EV1 and HE1 which, respectively, encourage the re-use and conversion of traditional farm buildings to provide visitor accommodation, and provide a viable use for Listed buildings. 

“I also attach weight to the sensitive and sympathetic nature of the proposed conversion works, which will maintain the special qualities of these important buildings with minimal external alteration.”

However, Mr Staddon did agree with the appellant that there was a lack of restriction of the proposed use, hence his proposed – and accepted – clarification of the rules.

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