Council Debates Planning Application In Secret Session

wesleyan chapel 2The Council has debated a planning decision behind closed doors and they say they can’t reveal the outcome.

At last Tuesday’s Planning Committee meeting, councillors had been due to debate an application by the owners of White Cottage, Porthloo, for a lawful development certificate.

That would allow them to use a wooden chalet in their garden as a separate dwelling.

But unusually, it was moved to the confidential part of the Planning Meeting at the last minute, meaning the public and press were excluded.

This is the second time the application has come before members.

In November, the Council rejected it. At the time, Senior Manager for Planning, Craig Dryden, said the building needed to have been lived in continuously for more than 10 years, adding there was no evidence to show that, such as utility bills or council tax records.

The applicants said the structure had been occupied by the owner’s daughter between 2006 and 2012, which meant a certificate could be issued.

So they asked for the case to be to reassessed by the committee.

In a letter, their agent said the Council had “made a mistake” and that the owners only had to prove that the dwelling had been occupied continuously for four years.

But in the papers accompanying last week’s reapplication, Planning Officer Lisa Walton maintained that there was no proof even that the dwelling had been used for that period of time and that enforcement action could be taken against it’s use as residential accommodation.

She said the current structure was also larger than that drawn on Ordnance Survey maps and in a previous planning application in 2007.

Radio Scilly contacted the Council to ask the outcome of the planning decision, which is a point of public record, but were told that the Authority was, “unable to provide any further comment on this matter.”

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