12th Aug, 2020

Controversial housing plans for listed Belbroughton buildings are thrown out by planners

A CONTROVERSIAL application for three outbuildings in Belbroughton to be converted into two homes was thrown out by Bromsgrove District Council’s planning committee last night.

But, after being refused by four against, three for and one abstention, the Listed Building Consent was granted.

For that second part of the proposal, six voted in favour, one against with one abstention.

The applications were for two one-bedroom properties on land behind 37 Nash Lane.

Previous proposals for the site had been turned down by the planning committee and dismissed at appeal but officers had recommended the latest ones for approval.

Residents also staged a ‘VOTE NO 2 WARR’ march through Belbroughton last Saturday, pushing their wheelie bins around to symbolise the added noise and congestion that would be brought to the village.

The living space in the one property was 38sq ft and members were told restrictions meant the minimum for a living space was 37ft with a shower room and 39ft if it included a full bathroom.

Councillors cited a poorly sized living space and questioned the six parking spaces required for two single occupancy homes.

Three residents spoke against the plans and the agent Nick Brown, speaking for the applicant Gavin Warr, talked about the restoration benefits for the buildings.

He said there were not enough single occupancy properties at affordable prices in Bromsgrove District, especially in Belbroughton.

During the discussion Coun Peter Whittaker echoed the comments about a need for one-bedroom properties.

He said in order for them to be preserved they needed to have a purpose and he could not see any other practical usage for them.

Coun Charles Hotham said they were fascinating pretty buildings but just because they looked that way did not mean they would be suitable for conversion to homes.

Members unanimously agreed the buildings did need to be restored and kept but the majority disagreed with them being used for living accommodation.

After the meeting resident Brian Robinson said he was happy the housing application had been turned down but unhappy the Listed Building Consent had been granted.

“These buildings must be preserved but there must be a high quality use for them in the future that does not involve a residential development.

“The owner and developer have refused to consider any other type of development.”

Mr Robinson reiterated calls for a proper structural survey to be carried out and that residents had even offered to pay half the cost for that to happen.

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