Estate owners appeal cottage decision

PUBLISHED: 09:25 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 21:56 07 July 2010

OWNERS of an estate near Thetford have appealed a decision to refuse the building of a new cottage and garage on its grounds.

OWNERS of an estate near Thetford have appealed a decision to refuse the building of a new cottage and garage on its grounds.

Breckland Council initially refused a planning application from the owners of Shadwell Breck Cottage in Brettenham in November last year on the grounds that the buildings would be too close to an area of special protection.

This, it said, would harm the nesting habits of Stone Curlews.

The application has now gone before a local hearing and a final decision will be taken by the secretary of state.

Speaking at the appeal in Thetford on Tuesday, countryside officer for Breckland Council, Giles Addison, said there was evidence to prove any building within 1,500 metres of a special protection area would had a negative effect on Stone Curlews.

But arguing on behalf of the Shadwell Estate, Keith Warth, from Cambridge-based KWA Architects, stressed the buildings would not be any more harmful than a caravan they would be replacing.

“This protection area is fairly enclosed and there are buildings there already,” he said. “The view of the RSPB is also that because of the dwelling on the site this (application) would have less of an impact.”

Planning inspector, Isobel McCretton, heard how the new cottage and garage would be 67sq metres bigger than the caravan. Mr Addison also argued the nature of a cottage was vastly different from a caravan.

“There is a world of difference between a caravan and a permanent dwelling,” he said.

“It's like comparing your home to a room in a travel lodge and the activities which surround these spaces are simply not equitable. “Our proposal is for a stand alone dwelling to be 535metres from the special protection area.”

After a site visit, Mrs McCretton will now produce a report to go before the secretary of state who will make a final decision on whether to allow the application.

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