Guernsey Press

Planning appeal panel overturns DPA rejection of coast cottage rebuild

THE planning appeal panel has overturned the Development & Planning Authority's decision to reject permission to knock down a west coast cottage and replace it with a modern building.

Halekulani, in St Pierre Du Bois. (Picture by Cassidy Jones, 30392885)

Halekulani stands near Fort Grey at Rocquaine.

The planners had recommended that plans to develop the site be given permission, but at an open planning meeting in August the Development & Planning Authority political board refused, due to concerns about the design and materials, and potential for flooding. Now the independent appeal panel has rejected that decision and given the go-ahead for the plans.

Tribunal presiding member Linda Wride in the decision report said that the department’s decision to withhold planning permission was not justified.

The authority accepted the bulk, scale and massing of the proposed dwelling, but was concerned about the appearance of the zinc cladding proposed to the solid walls and roof of the upper floor element of the appeal scheme.

DPA members appeared at the tribunal to explain their decision.

One said the cladding would give the structure a monolithic appearance and make it stick out. Another noted that it would make the structure strikingly different to its neighbours.

But Ms Wride said the tribunal did not share the authority’s concerns.

She said the tribunal accepted the zinc cladding was not found elsewhere on the island. So instead they looked at how it would relate to other local materials.

‘While it is clearly a different material to those currently found in the local built environment, we consider that both tonally and texturally it would be in harmony with other materials nearby, especially the weathered red pantiles used on local roofs,’ she said.

‘For this reason, we consider that it would respect a palette of local materials.’

She added that the panel acknowledged but did not share the authority’s concern about the use of zinc to clad the solid walls of the upper floor and the roof walls, and believed it would fit in with its surroundings.

‘The tribunal has reached the view that while the proposed dwelling will look different from its neighbours,' she said, 'it would not appear overpowering or unduly dominant in street scene.'

‘In our view, it would provide a successful transition between the traditional fishermen’s cottages to the north and the larger, more recent dwellings to the south.’

Ms Wride said it was noted that one DPA member had concerns about flooding on a part of the coast road prone to it, particularly during storms and high spring tides.

The panel noted that the design meant that overtopping water would be diverted around the property and into the rear garden.

A granite wall around much of the ground floor of the proposed house would provide a significant degree of protection from the prevailing wind, overtopping waves and any rocks thrown over the sea wall during storms.

Having addressed these issues, permission was granted.