Annexe planning permission refused

A ‘CRAFTILY done’ garage conversion might never get planning permission after a Nailsea Town Council committee unanimously voted to recommend its refusal.

One member of the planning and environmental committee said the council ‘was being taken for a ride’ over the development, at 46 North Street.

The garage was turned into a one-bedroomed annexe, called The Barn, last summer and is being rented out, but the owner, Ms G Thatcher, of Clifton, in Bristol, is now seeking permission for it be officially recognised as a residential dwelling.

Councillors said residents had objected when a two-bedroomed bungalow was built on land next to 46 North Street two years ago.

Neighbours Brian and Anita Lewis said in a letter to North Somerset Council: “The site is clearly overdeveloped already and approval for a further self contained dwelling should be refused.

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“We strongly object to the underhand way in which the whole application process has been conducted.

“It was apparent from the outset that the application to convert the outbuilding to an annexe, which did not need planning permission, was suspicious and would probably lead to a subsequent attempt to regularise the situation.”

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Another neighbour, C Marsh, also in a letter to the council, said: “The site of The Barn is far too small for a self-contained residential dwelling, although I am fully aware a young girl is renting it at the moment.

“I am also very worried about what will happen next if this is approved.”

Committee chairman Councillor James Tonkin said the permission was presumably being sought so the building could be sold separately to the house in the future.

He said: “The annexe is not much bigger than a garden shed so it sets a precedent.”

Town council chairman Rod Lees said: “Residents objected when the work was originally done and now to apply for it to be a separate dwelling is totally out of order.”

Cllr Phil Barclay said: “The planning department is being taken for a ride but it is difficult to refuse.

“It is being craftily done and I suggest we refuse it.”

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