Island Businesses Receive Permission To Build Staff Accommodation

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Three St Mary’s businesses have been granted permission to build new staff accommodation on their premises.

Island Carriers submitted plans to create a first floor, one-bedroom unit with a kitchen and bathroom above the business office at Porthmellon.

Earlier this year, owner Lou Knapman told Radio Scilly that it had been difficult finding new recruits on an island with no unemployment and the accommodation was needed to attract possible employees.

At last week’s Planning Committee meeting, Head of Place Craig Dryden said the proposal would require minimal alterations to the building and he recommended approval.

Cllr David Pearson was concerned that this could create a precedent for similar projects elsewhere on the Porthmellon Industrial Estate, although Craig reassured him that every application had to be looked at on its own merit.

Councillors voted in favour of the scheme, which will be restricted to occupation only by the owner of the business or their employees.

The owners of Carn Vean café at Pelistry want to build a new two-bedroomed annexe on the site of an existing lean-to building on the property.

They’d originally received planning permission in 2007, following an appeal process, for a similar scheme using the existing building, although that wasn’t completed.

Craig said the improved design and standard of the accommodation meant he was willing to recommend it.

The conditions stated that the unit could only be used by the owners or staff, although Craig asked for that to be amended to include family members.

Cllr Andy Guy said it was a classic opportunity to house a family on the islands and the scheme was accepted by members.

Finally a plan to convert a disused stone barn at Carn Friars was also granted permission.

Craig said this would provide decent staff accommodation for two staff members at the working farm.

It would also make good use of an existing farm building, he said.

 

Cllr Fran Grottick said it was good to see these old buildings being brought back into use, and suggested the Council should “actively look” for other such schemes, particularly for local youngsters.