Sewerage Problems Scupper Planning Application

Hugh Town, St Mary’s

Plans to convert a ground floor shop in Hugh Town into residential accommodation have been refused after the chief technical officer said it would create too much strain on the local sewerage system.

The owner wanted to convert Calico Jack in The Bank into a one-bed, local needs flat, but the chief planning officer, Craig Dryden, told councillors at last Thursday’s Planning meeting that there was an embargo on any further development along the sewer, known as the “Mermaid Run.”

This starts on the Garrison, runs past Tregarthen’s Hotel and The Bank, then along Hugh Street to Mumford’s papershop.

Neville Gardner said there’s already a serious problem with this sewer coping with the load placed on it. He added that conversion of Calico Jack would, “increase the frequency and severity” of problems on this section of the pipe.

However, some councillors felt more evidence of the problem was needed. Cllr Gordon Bilsborough said there was already a toilet in the shop and he didn’t see how the “miniscule extra load” was going to ruin the system.

Cllr Richard McCarthy said while he wouldn’t want to see the loss of shop space, he agreed with Gordon that there needed to be more than a simple statement from the chief technical officer saying the sewer was full.

He felt the Council was leaving itself open to a challenge if planning was refused.

Both he and Gordon wanted a deferral until the data was available.

Craig said if planning was refused, rather than deferred, then the applicant would have the right to challenge it. This would be the right time to test the evidence, he said.

He also reminded councillors that two deferred applications had gone to appeal this year, because they’d failed to make a decision in time, and on both occasions the Council had lost.

The application was eventually refused.


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