Planning Refused For New Home On Bryher

Council Chambers at Old Wesleyan Chapel

A detailed, personal and emotional planning application to build a smaller and more manageable home for retirement was made by Council Vice Chair Marian Bennett last night.

But it was turned down by Councillors.

Marian wanted to extend and improve her one bedroom self-catering holiday unit, The Boathouse on Bryher, adding a bathroom and a shared utility room for guests.

That was recognised as improving the tourism offer.

She wanted to share those facilities with a new two bedroom, two storey home for herself, created by redeveloping what is currently a workshop and storage building.

The application included computer modelling of what the building would look like and a supporting medical report detailing how rheumatoid and osteoarthritis will make it increasingly difficult for her to manage her home and holiday lets at South Hill.

Marian told councillors that she wants to downsize, despite having lived at the family home for 40 years and that a large home and accommodation lettings business would become available for a new family.

Chris Thomas couldn’t understand why, with health and mobility factors cited, the applicant would want a property on two floors and planning consultant, Bill Wilson, felt that point was reasonable in deciding the application.

Gaz O’Neil was concerned that as the application came from the Vice Chair of Council, this should not influence the way it was treated.

Bill said the application could be considered marginal and if members had doubts on whether it met the criteria it should be refused but Fred Ticehurst said this created uncertainty.

Members felt the request couldn’t be granted as any new developmemt was restricted to specific and recognised local need that couldn’t be met through existing housing stock and she already has a home.