Brighton owner’s ‘sunken garden’ plan rejected

Aerial view of the site

The retrospective planning request to dig the garden at 44 The Cliff, Roedean, was received after tons of material had already been excavated.

And an official investigation is underway after properties – described as two mobile homes – were built without planning permission from Brighton and Hove City Council.

But when the council’s planning committee met at Hove town hall on Wednesday, September 4, members were told they could not discuss the ongoing investigation by the enforcement team. Planning.

Councilors were frustrated that they couldn’t talk about potential enforcement measures as they considered the request for a sunken garden.

They were addressed by the president of the Roedean Residents’ Association, Craig Jones. He spoke on behalf of the neighbors who sent eight letters of objection.

Mr Jones said letters were also sent to the planning enforcement team from neighbors concerned about additional unauthorized buildings in the garden and a septic tank.

He told the planning committee that the development was “willful and illegal”.

Mr Jones said: “It is no surprise that the owners have employed a town planning consultant as neighbors and that the residents’ association has started to lift the veil on deliberate and illegal development.

“We were shocked at this owner’s pitiful disregard for the interests of neighbors, the interests of the council and the law – in fact a disregard for anything other than their own profit.”

“The owner clearly establishes a form of dwelling at the foot of his garden.

He added that no one on the committee was naive enough not to be able to see him.

He highlighted the sewer connections and how the compacted earth infill damaged a nearby perimeter wall.

Councilor Bridget Fishleigh questioned Mr Jones about a concrete barrier next to the site.

Mr Jones said the plaintiff was granted a right of access through the Roedean Pitch and Putt, but the right of access was removed after trees were cut and soil removed.

The barrier has been put in place to prevent further access.

Sarah Sheath, senior planner at Dowsett Mayhew, spoke on behalf of the applicant, London dentist Antonia Paolella.

She said the request was only for the sunken garden and its retaining walls.

Ms Sheath said: “The sunken garden cannot be seen outside.

“Likewise, due to its sunken nature, the impact on neighbors’ amenity is very limited.”

Union adviser Daniel Yates was frustrated at his inability to consider future prospects for the garden’s development.

He said, “This is the kinkiest app I have seen in my life.”

Conservative adviser Joe Miller asked why owners would want to stamp out a sea view they paid a premium for. He also asked what had happened to the chalk extracted from the site.

He said, “This is the most laughable application I have ever seen coming to the planning committee.

“It shows complete disregard for the planning process and the local planning authority.

“I think it is a total disgrace the behavior of this candidate.”

Green Councilor Leo Littman said a site visit by committee members was an “amazing experience” while adding that he had concerns about the design.

Union Councilor Tracey Hill, who chairs the planning committee, and a past president, Green Councilor Phélim Mac Cafferty, voted for the project along with Councilor Yates.

Councilor Littman abstained.

The other six members of the planning committee voted to deny permission on the grounds that it had a negative impact on the landscape and setting of the South Downs National Park.

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