Replacement house in Corfe Mullen will enhance the area
THE outcome of a planning application for a high quality neo-Elizabethan replacement house in Corfe Mullen depended at East Dorset District Council's planning committee meeting on Tuesday on the definition of expansion.
Planning officers acknowledged the superior quality of the proposal by Mr and Mrs N Jackson, but ruled that the new property at Fairmeads in Sleights lane would be 60 per cent larger than the one it replaced, and so exceeded the 50 per cent limit for extensions in the green belt and would therefore cause harm to it.
But they were taking into account the expansive stairwell of the central hall of the five bedroomed home, which had a vaulted ceiling but no floor.
Agent Peter Thompson said planning officers should have calculated the increase in size by floor area, not volume, in which case it was only 53 per cent larger.
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"Is it going to cause harm by being three per cent more?" he asked.
He described the existing property as "a carbon hungry and poorly constructed 1930s building" adding: "We are trying to create some decent architecture with a well-designed building."
He quoted a comment from local councillor Ann Holland, who was unable to attend the meeting, but described it as an ‘excellent design which will be an asset to Corfe Mullen’.
Suzanne Parkin of Corfe Mullen parish council said: "We were gobsmacked when we saw the plans. The design is truly fantastic - we had never seen anything so good. It will be a wonderful enhancement to the whole area, and something of excellence which should be encouraged."
Councillor Pat Hymers said: "I can't see that it is sensible to question a really good design for the sake of a few percentage points, and it would be a terrible shame to lose something of such quality."
Councillor Spencer Flower agreed, saying that their planning officers were there to remind them of policy, but that members could apply discretion.
The application was approved, and the new house will replace an early 1930s cottage of unusual design.
Members were told it had been considered for listing, having remained unaltered since the 1950s and having a distinctive mansard roof, but failed to meet the necessary national criteria.