Agenda item

WD/D/19/000811 - The Hare and Hounds Inn, Slape Hill, Waytown, Bridport, DT6 5LQ

Change of use of land for siting of 4 No. shepherds huts and toilet/shower block to use for holiday purposes.


The Planning Officer introduced the application to change the use of land for the siting of 4 shepherd's huts and a toilet / shower block for holiday purposes.  This formed part of a rural public house situated north of Bridport that was outside the Defined Development Boundary (DDB) in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).  The public house had been deemed as an asset of community value.


An update sheet was circulated to the committee at the meeting that provided amendments to conditions and clarified the reason why this application was being determined by the Area Planning Committee.


Members were shown aerial photographs, site plan, elevations and floor plan, site photos and an illustrative plan of the shepherd's huts. The key planning issues were explained in relation to the principle of development, impact on the AONB, design, neighbouring amenity, access and parking.


Glen Bishop addressed the committee in objection of the application, referring to aspects of the viability of the business.  He considered that the drawings misrepresented the size of the huts and that photographs did not accurately represent the location of tables in the garden area during the summer period. 


Roger Miles spoke in objection of the application regarding the impact of the proposal on the community asset, use of the garden for community functions, impact of the huts on the skyline and noise and light disturbance when the huts were occupied.


Cllr Tony Alford addressed the committee in relation to the public sector equalities duty and disabled access to the huts, reference to negligible light pollution in the report given that this would be a 24 hour site, use of the garden as amenity for the huts rather than general usage, sufficiency of sewerage capacity with respect to the toilet block and the open boundary on the eastern side. He referred to the relevant national and local planning policies whilst addressing these points.


Nigel Jones, the agent, addressed the committee in support of the application, stating that there were no technical or policy reasons to refuse the application.  It was recognised that the pub was on the edge of viability and the applicants were injecting significant capital to retain a viable business and create additional trade to the public house that would retain the pub in the locality. 


The Development Manager stated that conditions had been imposed in order that the scheme was acceptable and to address the areas of concern including siting and materials for the shower block, landscaping and lighting. 


In response to questions by members she confirmed that the site plan of the garden was taken to be accurate; the height of the huts included the wheels, the ground surface was indicated to remain as grass and that, although the huts were off the ground similar to a caravan, there could be provision for ramped access.


Members commented on the potential contribution of the proposal to the viability of the public house, the position of tables in the garden, whether the tenants had objected, landscaping and privacy for users of the huts.


They were informed that all representations were detailed in the report, and although the views of the tenants were not known, this and the location of tables in the garden were not material to the planning decision.


Proposed by Cllr Louie O'Leary, seconded by Cllr Susan Cocking.


Decision: That the application be granted subject to the conditions outlined in the appendix to these minutes

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