Inspector says West Hill eco-house not good enough

An appeal to build an eco-house in West Hill was dismissed by a planning inspector after it was deemed not exceptional enough.

Plans to construct a three-bedroom carbon neutral property on Lower Broad Oak Road were refused by the district council in February.

The applicants, Mr and Mrs Gaywood, appealed to the planning inspectorate to approve plans to build into the south facing slope of the land in the garden of their existing property at Knapp Cottage.

But after a site visit by Neil Pope, a government planning inspector, he concluded the

proposed design was not exceptional enough to be exempt from planning policies for the countryside, and dismissed the Gaywood’s appeal.

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The site lies outside the built-up area boundary for West Hill, which means it must be treated as an application to build in open countryside, which is covered by stringent planning requirements.

The inspector had to decide whether special justification existed for Knapp Cottage, and although he took into account various environmental features, it was not enough to overturn the original decision.

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