Plans for a summer house to be built in the garden of a house in one of Cornwall’s most exclusive areas have been put on hold after councilors asked for more information.
Kevin Bailey had applied to Cornwall Council for permission to build a summer house on the Penlowen property at Restronguet Point, Feock.
Planning requests like this are usually decided by officers under delegated authority, but this request was referred to the council planning committee after concerns were raised by local Cornwall councilor Martyn Alvey.
He said he was concerned about the impact the building could have on what is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which has planning protection.
Feock Parish Council had also opposed the plans, saying they would be damaging to the AONB and visible from all around the site.
Parish Councilor Sue Cooper stressed that development should only be allowed in the AONB if it enhances and maintains the landscape and character of the area.
She said: “Couldn’t any stretch of the imagination be considered to enhance or preserve the AONB.”
Cllr Cooper was also concerned that if approved there would be other requests to construct more similar buildings at Restronguet Point, adding: “The urbanization of Restronguet Point is a growing problem.”
A planning officer for the plaintiff told the committee that the summer house would be the same size as a garden shed which he said could be built “under authorized rights.”
Cllr Alvey said the councilors’ decision was not whether the development would make the area worse, but also whether it would improve or keep the AONB.
He added: “It’s an important building, not just a hangar, and it will be very visible.”
Cllr Alvey added, “In addition to the privilege of owning property in this location, owners have a responsibility to protect this designated landscape.
“The way you use a garden shed is very different from how you use a summer house, especially if you have water and electricity, as the officer said. You could spend your evenings there with the lights on, with a shed, you would use it to store your tools and do some potting.
Committee member Michael Bunney was concerned about the impact on the AONB and that the summer lodge located on higher ground would make it highly visible.
John Fitter said the AONB is “valuable” but said it should also allow authorized development and he said if it was a shed it could be licensed under the rights of development allowed.
He proposed approval, but advisers then pointed out that Cllr Alvey had sent them a message that the authorized development rights had been taken from the location.
The meeting was then adjourned for planning officials to verify the claim and after ten minutes returned to confirm that the authorized development rights had been removed in 1971.
Therefore, any development on the site would require a building permit – even a simple garden shed.
As a result of this development, Cllr Fitter withdrew its proposal to approve the application.
Instead, Cllr Bunney proposed that the request be deferred so that more details can be provided on the AONB and Cornwall AONB unit views as well as more information on the permitted development rights.
The committee voted to defer the request with seven votes for and three against.