Inquiry begins into Pavilion planning row

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A house at the centre of a planning row had undergone minor changes and should be approved as it stands, according to its owners.

A public inquiry was opened on Wednesday after the owners of the Pavilion in 
Home Farm Close, Burley, lodged an appeal against Rutland County Council’s decision to issue an enforcement notice in February.

The inquiry, which was heard at the council offices in Catmose, Oakham, heard from Pavilion owners Anthony and Donna Barney, have stated their case as to why they are appealing against the notice.

Plans for the house were originally drawn up and given approval in 2004 and a planning application for alternations was given the go-ahead by Rutland County Council in 2007.

However, when the former owners went into receivership, the receivers Cooper Parry discovered the changes that were made went beyond what was approved.

In September last year, Rutland County Council issued an enforcement notice requiring the owners to reduce the height of the roof within two years, in accordance with the original plans that were approved in 2004, and allowing some alterations that were made later.

The owners bought the house for £1.4m in June last year and have appealed under the grounds that the planning permission should be granted; there has not been a breach of planning control; that at the time the notice was issued, it was too late to take enforcement action against the matters stated in the notice; and that the steps required by the notice to be taken exceed what is necessary.

The inquiry was told that the disprepancies in the height of the building from ground level to the ridge are between 30cm to 74cm over what was approved in the planning application.

Giving evidence for the appellants, witness Mark Lane said: “The council has approved a very large building.

“It approved a very large roofscape, with multiple windows, and what has been built reflects what was approved.

“There are minor differences and discrepancies to what was on the application but if you take it as a whole, what was approved is what’s been built.”

The receivers had submitted a planning application to retain the house as a new build in November, 2011.

The house was also put on the market for £4m.

But the council refused the new build application, citing the size of the house, the impact on residents and the Burley-on-the-Hill estate, and the design.

Initially it was thought that refusal would mean the house would have to be demolished but planners learned of a court ruling from 2010 which set a precedent for The Pavilion.

It said alterations which had not been agreed but were detailed on a later planning application would then be judged to have been approved.

This ruling was referred to by Mr Lane at the inquiry, stating it as another reason as to why the house should be allowed to stand as it is.

Some residents in the village who had objected to the original plans were in attendance at Wednesday’s inquiry.

They reiterated their concerns that the development had a big visual impact and was not in-keeping with the area.

The owners do not live in the property and Mr Lane said he believed they are looking to sell it on for profit, pending the result of the inquiry.

The case has been adjourned until August 15, when Rutland County Council’s evidence will be heard.

It will start at 9.30am at the council offices.