Wooden Decking At Front Of St Mary’s Property Might Have To Go

Jackson's Hill

Jackson’s Hill

The owners of a property at 14 Jackson’s Hill might have to demolish an area of decking at the front of their house.

That’s after councillors refused to grant retrospective planning permission for the development.

Chief Planning Officer Craig Dryden had recommended giving approval for the decking, which runs along the right hand side of the lower ground floor and extends out to the road.

Craig said it was unusual to have this type of feature at the front of a house, but didn’t think it was too big.

He added that the context is important. There were other properties with balconies in Jackson’s Hill and he felt it didn’t look out of place there, although he recommended staining the wood to make it stand out less.

Clive and Sarah Sibley, who live in a neighbouring property, wrote to Craig to object. They said it didn’t fit in with the street and the railings provided a place for seasonal visitors to hang out their washing to dry.

They also felt it extended too far out and could impede pedestrians and vehicles, although Craig confirmed it was wholly within the boundary of the property.

And many councillors agreed with them.

Avril Mumford said it looked “awful” and Dudley Mumford described it as “horrible.”

He felt if it had gone through the proper channels, with consultation with the planning team, then they’d now have a much better plan.

Chair of Council, Amanda Martin, asked the Chief Planning Officer why there had been so much effort put into a planning guide if no one was actually following it.

She said Jackson’s Hill is an area that’s been, “developed to the point of bewilderment.”

Steve Sims took a more pragmatic view. He said the area was, “basically a lost cause” and, “given that it’s at the bottom of the pit anyway, then let them keep digging.

But Amanda said it’s an area where “a lot has gone wrong in the past, but that’s not a reason to go on making it worse.”

“We’ve made people knock down houses in the past,” she said.

She recommended refusal based on the design being out of keeping with the conservation area and councillors voted in favour of that.

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