Section 106 Wording Leads To Heated Exchange In Council Chamber

wesleyan chapel 2There were heated exchanges at this week’s Planning Meeting after the Committee Chairman was unable to get a clear answer on the wording of Section 106 agreements from the Chief Planning Officer.

Cllr Gaz O’Neill pressed Craig Dryden on how short-term holiday accommodation was defined in the agreements, an important set of conditions that restrict who can occupy property on the islands.

It arose during a second attempt to allow a granny flat on a St Mary’s home to be used for holiday accommodation.

In November, the Council considered a request by the owners of the annex at Silver Carn on Town Lane to modify a Section 106 agreement, which restricted occupation to the owners, family members and non-paying guests.

It had formerly been used by the family’s mother, who is now deceased.

Councillors agreed at the meeting to widen the use to key workers and those with specific local need, but not for holidaymakers as the owners wanted.

The applicants asked for that to be reconsidered after claiming members were not fully informed of all the facts, namely that the extension replaced an existing holiday chalet on the site.

They also complained about having to wait ten weeks for a decision, after submitting their request in August.

At Tuesday’s Planning Meeting, Craig confirmed that there had indeed been a holiday let on the site, which lead Cllr Gordon Bilsborough to say he couldn’t see a problem with allowing holiday use again.

And Cllr Avril Mumford pointed out she was the only member to vote for the change at the last meeting and she intended to do that again.

But Cllr Fran Grottick asked why there was a need for a Section 106 agreement at all, if the conditions were so wide that they essentially allowed anyone to use the property.

No one seemed able to answer this to the satisfaction of the Chairman, Gaz O’Neill.

Gaz said all you’d have to do is say “I’m on holiday” for a continual period.

Craig said the Section 106 agreement had specific wording to ensure a property was used only for short-term holiday use, but on further pressing from the Chairman, he couldn’t say what that wording actually was.

Councillors voted in favour of the changes, including the use as holiday accommodation.

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