Appeal to convert holiday cottage to home rejected

MHBG-18-10-12 Bishop Blaize

Sibford Gower ENGNNL00120130423145728
MHBG-18-10-12 Bishop Blaize Sibford Gower ENGNNL00120130423145728

A government inspector has ruled planning conditions attached to a holiday cottage conversion should remain in place to prevent the property becoming a permanent residence.

Following an appeal in 2014, planning permission was granted to convert a redundant barn/store at the Bishop’s End pub in Burdrop into a one bedroom and bathroom, self-contained holiday letting cottage.

Under the conditions for approval, the building had to remain ancillary to the Bishop’s End and should not be let to any person for a period of more than eight weeks.

But following an application to remove the restrictions – which was refused by Cherwell District Council in August 2015 – the property’s owner, Geoffrey Noquet launched an appeal which has now been dismissed.

The property has a combined kitchen/living area looking directly onto a parking area in front of the pub with a staircase leading to a first floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom.

In determining the appeal, inspector Jennifer Vyse considered the living conditions for future occupiers and the viability of the pub if it were to reopen following its nine-year closure.

She said: “The building has a very intimate relationship with the large car park at the rear, the parking area to the front and the pub itself.

“Indeed the front door to the appeal building and its large front window are very close to the front door to the pub, immediately adjacent to an area of parking there. It seems to me the juxtaposition of uses would be likely to give rise to problems of noise and disturbance on occasion. While those shortcomings may be tolerated by holiday makers or others who would be in occupation for limited periods, I am not persuaded the arrangements provide acceptable living conditions were the building to be occupied on a permanent basis as a second dwelling.”

Mrs Vyse concluded if she were to allow the appeal, it would conflict with Cherwell’s Local Plan which requires conversion schemes to provide acceptable standards of amenity and privacy for occupiers.

She also noted a separate dwelling would have implications for the running of the public house and its viability. In her report Mrs Vyse recognised that development often creates noise and existing businesses wanting to develop should not have unreasonable restrictions put on them because of changes in nearby land uses.

She added the close relationship of the pub to the building had the potential to result in a conflict of interest if the property were to be occupied as a separate dwelling. In turn, this could have implications for the trading practices of the public house and its ongoing viability which would be contrary to Cherwell’s Local Plan which seeks to secure a successful rural economy and the retention of existing villages services.

The Bishop’s End, previously known as Bishop Blaize, closed in 2007 and since then has been subject to various unsuccessful planning applications seeking to convert the former pub into residential accommodation.