Agenda item

Planning Application 20/02114/S73 - Annexe Higher Farm Barn, Wick Road


Proposal: The removal of conditions 3 and 4 from approval 13/00400FUL to allow the residential Stable Block at Higher Farm Barn to become independent from the main house, remaining residential in use, and not restricted to holiday lets.


The Lead Specialist, Development Management presented the application as detailed in the agenda and with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation, proceeded to show the site and proposed plans. She explained the relevant history of the property.

·         2009 and 2011 there was refusals for permanent residential property due to sustainability issues.

·         2013 approval was given for use of holiday accommodation or ancillary accommodation. The conditions being proposed to be removed are within this 2013 approved application.

·         2018 refusal of the removal of these conditions due to a procedural reason and because of the unsustainable location and an unacceptable adverse impact on the residential amenity of the occupiers of higher farm barn.


The new application now proposed a landscaping scheme between the garden area and the parking area and trees lining the edge of the main garden to resolve the refusal reasons of overlooking. She had concerns with how much light these trees might block out for the permanent residential dwelling and also how they would be enforced once conditions were removed and work had been completed.

Her key considerations for refusal were sustainability and residential amenity. The phosphates and impact on Somerset Levels was also a reason for refusal. The SCC Ecology confirmed a Habitat Regulation assessment would be required. She confirmed this was an additional reason for refusal and explained the details of why a Habitat Regulation Assessment would be needed.


The applicants then addressed Members and some of the following comments included were:

·         They had lived in the Barn for a number of years, and built up their business in the stable block, employing up to 4 local staff at their peak.

·         Converted the stable block/annexe whilst running the holiday let.

·         They would continue to be custodians for these buildings as they intend to remain in their home.

·         Confirmed with solicitor that a covenant could be put in place ensure the trees remain.

·         Felt the landscaping scheme would be non-intrusive and effective.

·         Wish to remain in the local are to continue to run the Air b&b which in turn, provides tourist opportunities for the local businesses.

·         Thanked Councillor Sarah Dyke for her support and taking the time to visit the property.


The Agent then spoke in support of the application. Some of his comments included:

·         There had been a legal right of appeal due to the absence of a decision but the applicants had held back from this relying on local decision making.

·         Transformed the stable block and introducing surface water drainage benefitting the neighbourhood.

·         There have been no objections from any consultees.

·         Residential use is in the same classification of residential lettings which was given consent.

·         Double row of staggered trees would provide adequate screening.

·         Phosphates issue should not be relevant as there are no new residential units being introduced.

Councillor Sarah Dyke then spoke to Members and supported the applicant. Some of her comments included:

·         Felt it unfair that the phosphates issue was being considered within this application as this application has been delayed due to issues within the planning department.

·         Having visited the site considered that the landscaping would effectively screen one building from the other and does not think that there would be an issue with blocking sunlight,

·         Overall considered that the application did accord with the policies, and asked for further clarification on the Phosphates issue.


The Interim Planning Lead suggested that if Members were minded to approve the application, that the item was deferred or approved subject to resolution of the phosphates issue and the withdrawal of the ecological objection. There was a legal obligation to conduct the assessment before a decision is made, it could not be conditioned. His recommendation would be to defer so that the assessment can be undertaken.


Councillor Sarah Dyke then made a proposal to approve the application subject to the Habitat Regulations assessment being completed.


There was a short discussion in support of the application, and during Members questions, the following responses were given:


·         The 2013 application went to Ward member and was delegated to Officers.

·         Direction of flow of surface water flows north.


It was felt by Members that the Unsustainable reason for refusal was not relevant as deliveries can be made anywhere, avoiding the need to travel. It was requested the covenant for protecting the trees be in the proposal as well as an EV charger onsite.


After no further discussions, It was then proposed and seconded to approve the application, contrary to the officer’s recommendation, subject to the resolution of the ecology issue regarding phosphates, for the reasons that it represents sustainable development and would have no impact on highway safety or amenity and accords with policies SD1, SS1, SS2, EQ2.

The Lead Specialist, Development Management then read out the following conditions:

·         Reapplying a condition removing permitted development right relating to door and windows.

·         Floor levels no lower than 100

·         No ground floor bedrooms

·         Flood proofing measures to be carried out

·         Installation of an ev charging point

·         Landscaping trees to be conditioned.


On being put to the vote the application was approved unanimously.



RESOLVED:  It was resolved to go against the officer’s recommendation and approve the application 20/02114/S73, subject to the ecology issue regarding phosphates in the Somerset Levels being delegated to officers to resolve first. The reason for granting permission is as follows:


The removal of conditions 3 and 4 of 13/00400/FUL to allow the holiday let/annexe to be occupied as an independent dwelling would represent sustainable development andwould have no impact on highway safety or amenity, subject to landscaping being conditioned. Thus the proposal accords with policies SD1, SS1, SS2, EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028) and the provisions of the NPPF.



01.       Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any order revoking and re-enacting that Order with or without modification), no additional windows, including dormer windows, or other openings (including doors) shall be formed in the building, or other external alteration made without the prior express grant of planning permission.


Reason: To safeguard the character and appearance of the barn and the local setting, in the interests of residential amenity and to accord with the NPPF and Policy EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan 2015.


02.       Finished floor levels of the ground floor shall be no lower than 100 m AOD.


Reason: In the interests of flood prevention and to accord with policy EQ1 of the South Somerset Local Plan 2015.


03.       No bedrooms or sleeping accommodation shall be located on the ground floor of the development hereby approved at any time.


Reason: To prevent increased flood risk to the development by introducing more vulnerable accommodation in the higher flood risk area and to accord with policy EQ1 of the South Somerset Local Plan 2015.


04.       Prior to first occupation of the annexe as an independent dwelling, details of flood proofing measures (such as barriers on ground floor doors, windows and access points and bringing in electrical services into the building at a high level so that plugs are located above possible flood levels) shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority for written approval.


Reason: In order to reduce the impact of flooding and to accord with policy EQ1 of the South Somerset Local Plan 2015.


05.       Prior to first occupation of the annex as an independent dwelling, an electric charging point (of a minimum 16amps) for electric vehicles shall be provided adjacent to the parking spaces. Once installed such charging points shall be retained and maintained in working order, unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority.


Reason: To ensure that the development is resilient and sustainable in accordance with Policy TA1 (Low Carbon Travel) of the adopted South Somerset Local Plan and the provisions of the NPPF.


06.       Prior to first occupation of the annex as an independent dwelling, the landscaping shown on the Proposed New Garden Layout, Landscape Strategy & General Arrangement with Viewpoint Locations (drawing ref: AGM-HBF-LS-001) shall be fully implemented. Any trees or plants which within a period of five years from the completion of the development die, are removed or become seriously damaged or diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority gives written consent to any variation.


Reason: In the interests of visual and residential amenity, in accordance with policy EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan 2006 and the provisions of chapters 7 and 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework.







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