EACH week, hundreds of planning applications come before Cornwall Council’s planning department, seeking to win approval for various plans right across the Duchy, with some concerning Holsworthy handled by Torridge District Council.

These plans can comprise of a number of different reasonings– ranging from permission to replace windows or listed building consent ranging up to large house building developments or changing of use of a building, for instance, from an office to a café, or flats.

Within this large and often complex system, there are a number of formats from which planning advice and approval can be sought.

These range from full applications where all the details which comprise a proposed development or work to a building are submitted, to outline applications, where further details are yet to be confirmed, for example, an outline application with reserved matters for appearance may not confirm the final proposed development but rather seek permission in principle.

An example of this is one for an outline permission for 20 dwellings on land with reserved matters for appearance and scale; the reserved matters would require further permission later for their inclusion.

Other types of applications include pre-application advice requests, where would-be developers submit often outline proposals to a local authority to ascertain whether it is likely to gain support or not prior to submitting a planning application.

The vast majority of applications are decided by planning officers employed by a local authority under ‘delegated powers’, meaning they do so on behalf of their employer, however, some applications are ‘called in’ by local councillors to be discussed at an area’s strategic planning committee meeting, meaning the final decision rests with a committee of councillors.

A former dairy building which has been refused permission to become a holiday let
A former dairy building which has been refused permission to become a holiday let (Cornwall Council)

Conversion into holiday letting refused

PA24/01331: PROPOSALS for the conversion of an agricultural building into a holiday let accommodation has been refused by the Cornwall Council planning department.

Cornwall Council received an application from Mr and Mrs Swann concerning the proposals to change the building to holiday use at Wainies Brook, Higher Crackington, Bude.

In their planning agent’s submission to the local authority, the couple, who currently live in the South East of England said: “The proposal is for the change of use of a small agricultural building which was historically used as a small dairy on the edge of the village of Higher Crackington. The application is a resubmission of a previous application with revisions to address local and consultee concerns.

“The site is located in a sustainable location on the edge of the village. It is located 0.2 miles or a four-minute walk from the village shop and the same distance from the bus stop in the centre of the village.

“The use of the building for this conversion removes the need for the applicants to take up an existing dwelling in the locality for holiday use. It also involves the re-use of an existing building in line with Cornwall Council policy and planning guidance.

“There were concerns regarding the previous application in relation to whether or not the building was worthy of retention. Since then, the applicants have undertaken research into the history of the building by talking to the previous owners who’s family farmed the land for many years. They also obtained historic mapping to ascertain when the property was built and research was carried out with local historians. The building was built shortly after the end of World War II and was formerly used as a dairy building. The livestock feed troughs are integrated into the building and the external yard and these still remain. The building continued to be used in conjunction with the agricultural land until the applicants purchased the property. It is therefore considered that it is part of the social history of the area and should be retained.

“There were previous concerns about the design of the proposed conversion due to the fact that included changes to the original structure of the building and was not considered to be in keeping with the landscape character of the AONB.

“In response to this, consideration has been given to AONB planning guidance and Cornwall Design Guide. The building has been designed to incorporate external materials commonly found on agricultural buildings in the area to include vertical timber cladding, corrugated metal roof sheets, galvanised rainwater goods and granite sets and stonework on the entrance drive, parking area and pathway.

“There were concerns about the prominence of the building in the landscape of the AONB. A landscape and visual impact assessment was undertaken and an extensive landscape plan for the site has been incorporated into the proposal to ensure that the impact on the landscape is minimised and the biodiversity of the site is increased. In response to this, the parking area has been moved away from the front of the property to ensure to decrease the impact on the site. A new Cornish bank is also proposed to screen the building from the road. A bin and equipment storage area has been added in order to contain domestic paraphernalia and prevent any adverse impact on the AONB in this regard.

In refusing the application, Cornwall Council told the applicants: “The proposed development of the site for holiday letting purposes, by reason of the location of the site in the open countryside, divorced from nearby services, facilities and amenities would perpetuate over reliance on the private vehicle and unsustainable traffic movements. The proposal will introduce a sense of domesticity through the addition of residential paraphernalia and alterations to the building itself.

“The introduction of this holiday unit would not lead to an enhancement of the immediate Cornwall Landscape setting and in the absence of any special circumstances to justify development in this rural location, the proposal is not sustainable development and is considered to be harmful to the character of the countryside and conflicts with the spatial strategy pursued by the Council for the location of new development.”

Barn to be converted into dwellings

PA24/02917: PERMISSION is not required to convert an agricultural style barn to two dwellings on land in North Petherwin.

That is the verdict of Cornwall Council in its response to Mrs Colwill, who made the application concerning land adjacent to Nescott Farm, North Petherwin, Launceston.

She applied to the local authority to see if planning permission would be required to convert the barn under permitted development rights. However, in its response, the authority said it was permissible and thus an application was not required.

Among its considerations, the authority’s planning officer noted: “Whilst it is noted that the change of use of the building may result in more frequent and possibly increased noise levels, due to the levels of noise expected with this type of development, it is not considered that the proposal would be unacceptable in terms of its noise impacts. This would also be mitigated by the removal of the agricultural use of the building and subsequently the noise levels associated with this use.

“It is noted that the proposed dwellings are not of a particularly high-quality design and contain a number of openings. However, the building itself is existing and therefore the form of the building will largely remain the same and would not be any larger in scale. Consequently, it is not felt that the extent of the glazing and the external appearance of the proposed dwellings is unacceptable.”

Two conditions were stipulated as part of the planned works, however, namely that a bat survey’s recommendations are followed and that prior to the occupation of the two dwellings, the adjoining pole barn will be removed in its entirety as part of the approved works.

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