Controversial Lyme Regis eco homes plan to go before district planners (From Bridport and Lyme Regis News)
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Controversial Lyme Regis eco homes plan to go before district planners
CONTROVERSIAL plans to build two eco-houses in a Lyme Regis wood are set to be backed by district planners this week.
A planning application for the development in Whistler’s Wood is due to go before West Dorset District Council’s development control committee on Thursday.
Members will be urged to delegate authority to the council’s director of planning and environment to approve the plans.
This is despite 23 objections from neighbours and other residents who fear for the future of the green area in Pound Street, and a recommendation to refuse from Lyme Regis Town Council.
A previous planning application to build two low-energy chalets was turned down by district planners in 2009 and an appeal was refused in 2010 because of concerns over the impact the development would have on the woodland.
But planners now say a new agreement to set up a trust would ensure the wood’s long-term preservation.
In her report to the development control committee, case officer Debbie Reading said: “It is considered that the S106 agreement and the mechanisms set out within it for the future protection and maintenance of the woodland would ensure its long-term future and therefore addresses the inspector’s reason for dismissing the appeal in 2010.”
Owner Quentin Craven has been asked to contribute £12,000 in line with the agreement surrounding the building of new houses.
The trust proposed by Mr Craven would include the owners of the houses and three local members with an interest in conservation. The proposal is for two detached houses, one with three bedrooms and the other with two, with access from Langmoor Close.
There would be timber walkways, limited recreational space, terraces, small gardens and one parking space each.
The planning officer has dismissed the neighbours’ concerns, which centre around the impact on listed buildings, the amenity of neighbouring residents, the impact on wildlife, vehicle access, and loss of trees.
Among those who have objected is renowned botanist Sir Ghillean Prance, a professor and former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, who lives in Silver Street near to the wood.
In his letter of objection, Sir Ghillean said the wood will be destroyed if the houses are built.
He said: “To place any building, whether eco or not, would damage both the ecology and the aesthetics of the area.
“The value of this area for wildlife is bound to be lost permanently if the building is allowed to go ahead.”
Flats and mast plans
THE meeting will also consider plans to demolish a house in Lyme Regis and replace it with six flats.
Planning officer Debbie Reading has recommended approval of the plans to knock down Beau Sejour in View Road and build four two-bedroom and two one-bedroom flats with associated parking at the front.
The application has received seven objections surrounding the overdevelopment, loss of privacy, and land instability.
Lyme Regis Town Council has also recommended refusal for the same reasons.
Ms Reading said in her report: “It is considered that the proposed development is acceptable in terms of its design, scale and siting and would not harm the visual amenities of the area.
“Residential amenities would not be significantly compromised and the parking and access arrangements are considered to be acceptable.
“With measures in place, land instability is not considered to be a constraint on the development.”
An application to redevelop an existing Vodafone telecommunications site in Charmouth Road is also expected to be approved.
The mast within the car park would be replaced with new equipment to allow the phone company to upgrade its 2G coverage and for O2 to share the site to provide the same coverage.