Bryher House Planning Application Deferred

Council Chambers at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

Councillors have decided to go on a site visit to see a home on the west side of Bryher so they can decide whether it can be extended.

There was a lengthy debate over Hanjague, whose owners said it looks utilitarian and which was described by planners as “not the best looking home” on Bryher.

The owners want to extend the house, built in 1987, to add a ground floor, ensuite bedroom. Their extension plan for a two storey add-on was turned down in 2010 and so was their subsequent appeal to the planning inspector.

Now they’ve put in an application for a home that is 11% smaller than the rejected plans but it would still increase the overall floor area by 62%.

Planners require any extension not to overpower the original building. Add-ons need to be subservient to the original structure.

Councillor David Pearson felt an extension couldn’t be subservient if it exceeded 50% of the original size.

Bryher Councillor Fred Ticehurst had an issue with the scale of proposed development. He felt it is already a large house for Bryher, with a large reception room and 3 bedrooms, but he speculated that only 2 would be used.

The Planning Committee Chair, Councillor Amanda Martin didn’t like the terminology used in the application. Stating the home had ‘just’ 5 rooms displeased her, as many islanders didn’t have so much space.

Vice Chair of Planning, Gaz O’Neil said there wasn’t the necessity for the large development and he would hate to have the islands covered in vast properties that no one could afford to live in.

Chief Planning Officer, Craig Dryden felt the plan was on the borderline of acceptability but said the site was secluded and screened and should be approved.

He warned that it may get through on appeal. The Council would have costs to pay if it lost but John Goddard felt that shouldn’t have influenced Councillors’ views.

MIke Nelhams referred to the letters of support from the neighbours and he wanted Councillors on the site visit to take that into account.

Councillor Christine Savill was concerned that there were no environmental sustainability measures in the development with the inclusion of an AGA in plans.

After a vote, 9 members voted for deferring any decision. 5 voted against that.

There’ll be no decision by members until next meeting when they’ve been on site.