Plans to build a house at the end of a “historic” long garden in a Somerset village have been given the go-ahead.
Bath & North East Somerset Council’s planning committee granted planning permission for the two-storey, three-bedroom house to be built in Peasedown St John at their meeting on 7th June.
Mark and Sarah Jones had submitted plans to build the house at the end of the 71-metre garden of their Fairfield Terrace house which runs next to Braysdown Lane. They had faced opposition from neighbours who said the row of cottages and their distinctive long gardens were a part of the village’s heritage.
Speaking at the planning meeting, parish councillor Conor Ogilvie-Davidson urged committee members to turn down the plans. He said: “Braysdown Lane is characterised by ranks of historic miners’ cottages.”
He added: “The proposed site is at least 20 metres from those dwellings, becoming an incongruous single dwelling in an otherwise harmonious and historic site.”
Local Kevin Matthews added that the hedge which ran alongside the gardens, part of which would be removed to allow access to the new dwelling, was a historic marker of the edge of the houses, which he said were among the first built in the village.
He said: “The houses and the gardens and the hedgerow are an important part of heritage.”
He added: “Heritage isn’t just for Bath.”
But the agent for the applicants, William Drewett, said that they and the architect had strived to ensure the design was in keeping with the village, stating: “It’s clear that the area has a distinct character.”
He said: “It’s difficult to see how the design and appearance is out of character and therefore unacceptable when the design matches the neighbouring properties.
Councillors voted 5-3 to approve the plans, with Midsomer Norton Redfield councillor Tim Warren proposing approval.
He stated: “They have ticked all the boxes. I think it is very difficult to refuse an application and go against the officers’ recommendation when you look at it overall.”
But some councillors had concerns. Lansdown councillor Lucy Hodge voted against, after arguing that councillors should go on a site visit before making a decision, with Midsomer Norton North councillor Shaun Hughes also voting against the plan.
He said he was concerned that allowing the building could set a precedent, and make it easier for other houses to be built in the gardens of Fairfield Terrace.
The decision prompted Mr Matthews to call out: “You are not listening to Peasedown!”
John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporter