Agenda item

Planning Application 2021/2280/FUL Billingsley Bath Road Oakhill Radstock Somerset

To consider an application for the erection of a detached holiday let.


That planning application 2021/2280/FUL be REFUSED in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation.

Votes – Unanimous for refusal



Application for the erection of a detached holiday let.


The Officer’s Report stated that this application proposed the erection of a detached holiday let. The site currently comprised part of a steep wooded bank leading down to a stream located to the west of Nettlebridge House. The site was formally part of the Nettlebridge Inn which has since been converted to two residential dwellings. These dwellings were also served by the proposed access to serve the proposed holiday let.


In the summary, the Planning Officer said that due to changes in National Policy which emphasised the need to promote a sustainable pattern of development, it now meant that the site's distance, poor accessibility and connectivity to local services and facilities would necessitate the need to travel by private vehicle which made the site unsustainable. In addition, the limited economic benefits brought by a single holiday let would not outweigh the harms identified. Therefore, the application was recommended for refusal.


The Planning Officer explained the application to the Committee with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation.


The Committee was then addressed by a number of local residents opposed to the application. They gave many reasons for their objections including the following:


  • The site is on the edge of a nature reserve and is steeped in history. The proposed design and materials are not in keeping with the nearby old chapel and small cottages which are constructed from local stone. It will be a blot on the landscape.
  • It is an isolated rural community, with no TV reception and totally reliant on car travel, so an unsustainable location.
  • The access from the proposed car park to the house at the bottom of the valley would be difficult for disabled and young children.
  • An unsuitable location as the road is very busy with heavy traffic and passing HGV’s.
  • There is Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam growing on the riverbank and any disturbance could cause it to spread.
  • The river is fast flowing and an ideal habitat for dippers which have nested under to bridge for many years. The river supports otters which are protected and they easily disturbed.
  • There will be overlooking into Nettlebridge House and garden.


The next speaker was the applicant. He made the following points:


  • The property would be sited well away from the flood zone.
  • It would be screened from the road and other properties further up the hill.
  • It would be built on stilts to protect the land.
  • Every consideration had been given to the impact it would make on the landscape and neighbouring properties.
  • Approval had been given to a previous application in 2018 for a holiday let on the site.


In the discussion which followed, Members made a number of comments including the following:


  • The site is well outside the settlement limits of the village and not in a sustainable location.
  • It is a quiet, rural and historic hamlet and not suitable for this type of development which does not fit in with its surroundings.
  • Would like other reasons for refusal be added such as the overlooking, effect on the woodland ecology, the threat of the spread of Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam and the effect on the watercourse.


In response to the comments made, the Legal Advisor advised that any additional refusal reasons would each need to have good evidence and arguments, should it go to appeal. The Planning Officer added that there was no technical support to add the requested additional reasons for refusal. The Member then withdrew her request but said that the site was not sustainable in terms of ecology.


At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed by Councillor Edric Hobbs and seconded by Councillor Bente Height to refuse the application in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation.


On being put to the vote the proposal was carried unanimously.




That planning application 2021/2280/FUL be REFUSED in accordance with the Officer’s recommendation.


Votes – Unanimous for refusal


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