Trees saved as appeal inspector throws out holiday let plan

A proposal to convert a farm’s outbuilding into a holiday let has been rejected following an appeal.

The application, for an existing outbuilding at Beech Tree Farm House, on Rushmere Road, Carlton Colville, would have seen a three-bedroom holiday let created.

The scheme had previously been rejected by East Suffolk Council, with issues idenfified including the character and appearance of the building and surrounding area, highway safety and biodiversity, with the applicant unsuccessful following an appeal.

A meeting of East Suffolk Council’s strategic planning committee heard the council had a 71pc success rate for winning appeals between May 13 and August 24.

A report prepared ahead of the meeting, held on Zoom on Monday, stated: “The inspector noted the importance of the trees of the frontage of the site to the rural character of the area and concluded the removal of trees to accommodate the extension and provision of a car parking area would detract from the character and appearance of the area.

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“The inspector agreed the principle of conversion of the building to holiday let use was acceptable, but the scheme was contrary to the design policy which seeks development proposals to demonstrate high quality design which reflects local distinctiveness, protect the amenity of the wider environment, and create a high quality public realm.

“The inspector was of the view that, considering the limited amount of additional traffic likely to be generated by the proposal, the topography of the site and layout of the road, as well as the speed and volumne of traffic, it is unlikely the development would have a significant effect on highway safety and was acceptable in this regard.

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“It is difficult to demonstrate an ‘unacceptable impact’ on highway safety, particularly on small scale schemes and is a weak reason for refusal where there is limited additional traffic movements.”

Councillor David Ritchie said: “Once again the majority of appeals have been dismissed. We do win a much higher percentage than the national average when it comes to appeals.

“The appeals process tests whether our decisions are in line with local and national policy and case law.”

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