New St Mary’s Home Refused By Planners
An application to build a new 3-bedroomed house at Holy Vale on St Mary’s has been refused by planners because the applicants didn’t want to accept restrictions on its occupancy.
Nikki Banfield and John Jenkins had applied for permission to knock down an existing one-bedroom, single storey building at South Tinks, which is attached to the neighbouring property, and replace it with a larger home.
But planning officer Lisa Walton said that would create a substantial, new, open market property, which was against the islands’ current planning policy.
That says any new homes must meet local needs or house a key worker.
Lisa said she had discussed entering into a Section 106 agreement, but the applicants didn’t want that. They said it would constrain any future value of the development.
And they raised concerns about the Council’s consistency in applying Section 106 agreements, providing a list of seven examples on the islands.
But councilors appeared to be confused over whether the plans represented a new house or a replacement for an existing home and whether the occupancy restrictions were needed.
Cllr Avril Mumford said she was “very muddled about it.”
She felt they should remember that the property would be used by “a young couple and it would relieve our housing situation if they build their own house.”
Cllr Fraser Hicks supported the plans. He felt the restrictions wouldn’t be fair to the applicants, especially as it’s replacing an existing building with no rules on occupancy.
Council Vice Chairman Steve Sims said he felt it was unlikely that the property would go on the market “for a long time.”
“If we were doing this in Bodmin,” he said, “nobody would know the applicants and it would be a little bit easier.”
But he added that they shouldn’t be allowing new buildings without a Section 106 agreement in place.
Cllr Marian Bennett felt the plans were “good for the community” and “showed young people prepared to invest in the place and their future.”
She also pointed out that Section 106 agreements could affect mortgage applications, although Chief Planner Craig Dryden said recent changes to the way the contracts are written meant this was no longer the case.
A proposal was made to accept the application without a Section 106 agreement attached but councilors refused that by 6 votes to 5, with 1 abstention.
A second proposal was made to accept the application with the occupancy restrictions but after several minutes of confusion, it was pointed out that the applicants hadn’t actually asked for that, and the proposal was abandoned.