Refusal For New Home On St Martin’s

The proposed site at Middle Town

Councillors have refused an application to build a new property on St Martin’s.

The applicant, Jonathan Smith, had wanted to build a two-bedroom, timber-clad property with a natural sedum roof, into a grassy bank in Middle Town.

The decision had been deferred from an earlier meeting to allow a site visit and Planning Consultant, Bill Wilson, had recommended approval, subject to the timber cladding being replaced with local stone.

He also wanted the roofline of the building lowered by a further metre, which would have meant digging down into a hollow.

However, Councillors were worried about the excavations into the bank and the visual impact from the road.

Councillor John Goddard wanted to refuse the application, saying there would be a ‘virtual pit’ dug into the bank of what was a former dumping ground.

He said there were better, alternative sites for this building but Bill Wilson said those sites were not part of this planning application, so Councillors had to make their decision based on this site only.

Councillor Chris Savill said she also had “great reservations” about the site, particularly since it could contain building, domestic and organic waste.

She said there was nothing significant that came up in the biodiversity and geological survey, but said this is a very attractive site containing Madeiran geraniums and echiums.

Chris felt the building would need to be lowered significantly and, without lowering the bank in front, it would be a “development in a hollow.”

She said the position of the water tank would also be on the skyline and sewerage disposal in that area is by pumping uphill and that area is prone to bad smells.

Approving the plan and having the bank removed would bring other issues to the fore, she added, that would result in a huge amount of topsoil to dispose of and the building would be more in view from the road.

Chief Planning Officer, Craig Dryden said the opinion of the planning consultant was that the plan was approvable and Councillors would need to be very clear on why refusal was being recommended.

Chris said the reason was the position, which would have an environmental impact.

The planning application was refused.