Myrtoe Cottage, 19 Church Lane, Kelston, Bath
19 Church Lane forms one of a pair of unlisted semi-detached 19th century cottages, situated within the Kelston conservation area, Cotswolds AONB, and Green Belt. It is situated outside of the Housing Development Boundary. The proposed site for development is situated in the adjacent paddock along the conservation area boundary, which is within the same ownership as Myrtoe Cottage. An existing garage structure is situated at the front of the paddock adjacent to the entry gate and trackway to the cottage as of 2012 (see Google Street View). As of 2014, there was additionally a timber stable-style structure to the rear of Myrtoe Cottage within the existing residential curtilage. The character of the area is predominantly rural, with Church Lane enclosed by mature planting with a mixture of rubble stone boundary walls and timber fencing, whilst retaining open undeveloped gaps within the village core.
We note a previous refusal for a timber double-bay garage to the front of the neighbouring 18 Church Lane on grounds of inappropriate development in the Green Belt and harm to the Kelston conservation area (see 18/05528/FUL). This was dismissed at appeal on the same grounds. In particular, the Inspector noted that “the proposal would not have a close association with the main dwelling”; as a result, “the proposal would appear as a separate new building, which is inappropriate development in the Green Belt…”
This application proposes the construction of a new building in the Green Belt, which would be perceived as a separate building due to its size, position set within the paddock as a standalone structure, and perceived distance from Myrtoe Cottage. We therefore maintain that this proposal constitutes inappropriate development within the Green Belt, and does not constitute ‘very special circumstances’ as outlined in the NPPF. With the proposed position, height, and scale of the proposed garage structure, this development would harm the openness of the Green Belt and intrude on the existing undeveloped appearance and character of this section of the Kelston conservation area.
We have concerns regarding increased pressure for the ancillary ‘domestication’ of the paddock in relation to the use of the garage structure, such as the creation of additional hardstanding and access routes from Church Lane or the cottage, which would be of further detriment to the openness of the Green Belt and the green, undeveloped setting of the village conservation area.
We query the proposed set-back location of the garage along the northernmost boundary of the paddock, cutting into the established line of the hedgerow. We additionally have some concerns regarding the proposed two storey structure, which would be more visually significant and intrusive on an otherwise undeveloped site. We do not feel that the proposed height and scale of the 3 bay garage is justified by the proposed use for storage of “a ride on mower and perhaps a collectible car at some point in the future”. We maintain some concerns regarding the pressure for future residential conversion and the precedent for other development on similar rural plots within the village core.
This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Sections 14 and 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, D1, D2, HE1, NE2, NE2A, CP8 and GB1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should therefore be refused or withdrawn.