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Friday, 25 July 2014

Morston Road

Application re barn north of Morston Road NNDC EF/16/1473 Application for Certificate of Lawfulness for change of use of agricultural barn to (C1) hotel & other uses as per Part R of the TCPA (GPDO) 2015.

 Dear Planning
On behalf of The Friends of North Norfolk I would like to put forward our very strong objections to the above submission. For as long as can be remembered the land on which the current shed (it hardly qualifies as an agricultural barn) sits has been considered sacrosanct as it forms a vital open space between the villages of Blakeney and Morston (see picture attached) Extremely visible from the north, particularly the Norfolk Coast Path and situated on the edge of a National Nature Reserve and within the North Norfolk AONB, the land in which the Site lies is important and significantly contributes to the surrounding Landscape Character – Open Coast. To try and get permission for a hotel using the footprint of a redundant shed seems almost beyond belief.
It would reveal a damaging omission on the part of NNDC planning should it prove that safeguards to protect such a space from development have not already been put in place.
The developer purchased this land at a very high price and is clearly intent on securing a handsome return on his investment. However, he did this knowingly and in the full understanding that to develop such an area would be difficult and controversial.
The developer has already approached NNDC from several different angles in his bid to build on this land and has, as I understand it been discouraged. It is our hope that NNDC will stand firm in the face of such a deliberate attempt to make money at the expense of the north Norfolk coastal environment.

And its hands are not completely tied in this respect as they can resort to Article 4 (2) Which, and I quote provides the Council with powers in specific cases to withdraw the benefit of permitted development status granted under the General Development Order.  These generally require the approval of the Secretary of State. However, the Council itself may approve a Direction under Article 4(2) which removes certain permitted development rights from dwelling houses within Conservation Areas for such development which fronts a highway, waterway or open space.”

At present this a suggestion, but should NNDC procrastinate or make excuses for not implementing such an obvious course of action we would look to mount a legal challenge. This must surely be the most desperate and blatantly cynical attempt to manipulate the definitions of ‘use’ in order to gain benefits that were not intended by legislators under the Permitted Developments Right Orders. To allow such a feeble attempt to breach planning rules to succeed, and to permit the built village of Blakeney to migrate further towards Morston would be a tragedy and open up similar areas all along the coast to this type of exploitation.
I sincerely hope that NNDC will see this for what it is and resist it as strongly a possible.
Godfrey Sayers On behalf of the Friends of North Norfolk

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