Bid to turn Second World War buildings into holiday accommodation refused

The rufous bush chat, which is more commonly found in south-eastern Europe, made its way to the mars

Councillors have voted to refuse plans to turn a former Second World War army camp nearby into four accommodation units for people with disabilities.   - Credit: Archant

A council has turned down a bid to convert a former Second World War training camp into holiday accommodation for people with disabilities. 

LG Harrison and Son of Stiffkey had applied to convert the buildings off Greenway in Stiffkey into four holiday units.

But at a meeting of North Norfolk District Council's planning committee on Thursday, December 10, councillors voted to refuse permission on a number of grounds including concerns about the location of the development in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

The committee vote followed a recommendation the scheme be rejected by planning officers.

Prior to voting on the application, councillors were shown drone footage of the site as well as a summary of objections to the possible development.

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Cathy Batchel, a NNDC officer emphasised the "sensitive nature of the landscape" and  "the real underdeveloped nature of the west side of Greenway".

She said: "The idea that to convert [the buildings] into holiday lets would be assimilated into the landscape doesn't fit with the special qualities of AONB."

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Speaking in support of the application, Jerry Stone, said; "This is an existing building, it will preserve a historic part of this camp, it can't be seen in the landscape, you can't see it from the driveways.

"We've put in a considerable landscaping scheme to make sure any domestication can't be seen."

The meeting also heard a read statement from the ward member of Stiffkey in support of the application and appealing to councillors to approve the bid.

Councillor Angie Fitch-Tillet, proposing a vote to refuse the application, said: "Now it's quite obvious from the report we have to support the officer's recommendation to refuse this."

Councillor Paul Heinrich, said: "I've struggled to see anything favourable about this application.

"What we've basically got is temporary World War Two buildings, in very poor condition, quite how they've survived I'm not too sure and in my view they are of somewhat dubious historical significance."

However, councillor Richard Kershaw said he was conflicted about the application, as was councillor John Toye who questioned whether the site would have "significant effect on habitat" and "severe effect on roadways".

The committee voted to refuse the application 11 to two.

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