Former Vice Chair Of Council Loses Bryher Planning Appeal


Former Vice Chair of Council, Marian Bennett, has lost her planning appeal to build a new two-bedroom home on Bryher.

Marian had originally applied to build the property, on the footprint of a workshop and storage space attached to ‘The Boathouse’ holiday accommodation at Green Bay, back in May last year.

She submitted medical evidence describing how it will become increasingly difficult for her to manage her current large home and holiday lets business at South Hill. Marian told Councillors at the time that she wanted to downsize and the existing accommodation and lettings business would then become available for a new family.

However, although the Council’s planning consultant had recommended approval, the application was rejected on the grounds that it did not meet a recognised need as she already had a house on the island.

One Councillor also questioned why, with health and mobility factors cited, the applicant would want a property on two floors.

Marian appealed that decision but last week, the Planning Inspector, Neil Pope, published his report, which upheld the Council’s original refusal.

In his report, Mr Pope said he “was not unsympathetic” to the situation, saying the applicant appeared to be “over-housed” and he could see why she was seeking a smaller property.

However, he said her housing requirements “do not appear to be identified or recognised within any published survey, document or plan.”

Mr Pope said approval could be seen as a precedent for others on the islands in a similar position. This would put pressure on the Council to permit similar developments elsewhere and “erode the exceptional and high quality environment of the islands.”