Agenda item

P16/S1904/FUL and P16/S1835/LB - The Old Forge, High Street, Tetsworth

Change of use and conversion into a two bedroom dwelling.


The committee considered application P16/S1904/FUL and P16/S1835/LB for the change of use and conversion into a two-bedroom dwelling at The Old Forge, High Street, Tetsworth.


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report which formed part of the agenda pack for this meeting.


Marjorie Sanders, a representative of Tetsworth parish council, spoke objecting to the application. Her concerns included:

·         The historic Grade II listed building has a significant place in the centre of the village for trade purposes;

·         The junction where the property sits is an entry/exit pinch point in the village;

·         There are already ongoing parking and access issues;

·         There have never been regular vehicle visits whilst used for business reasons;

·         The tarmac in front of the property is small and inadequate for parking;

·         Since the submission of the application, the bus service to Thame has been withdrawn and the primary school is now full; and

·         The lack of garden and amenity space is a major concern, the parish council do not agree that the village green is an acceptable alternative.


Caroline Cann, a representative of Tetsworth Memorial Hall, spoke objecting to the application. Her concerns included:

·         To obtain planning permission to build an extension on to the memorial hall, they had to move the doors away from the residential neighbours to minimise noise – these are now 5.5m away from the proposed development;

·         The hall is licensed for music, dancing and selling alcohol with around 500 bookings last year both during the day and in the evening;

·         Despite the residential neighbour to the other side moving in with knowledge of the memorial hall’s activities, they have had ongoing noise complaints;

·         Overlooking of the grounds and car park and into the proposed dwelling would affect both the amenity of future occupants and users of the memorial hall; and

·         Having no external amenity is contrary to policy.


Bruce Robertson and Corin Rea, the applicant and agent, spoke in support of the application:

·         The application site has been used for 25 years as storage for the applicant’s business;

·         Over this period, they have sympathetically restored the building making it much more suited to residential use due to the cottage-like character;

·         The applicant has never been approached by anyone wanting to use it as a forge;

·         There are no objections from statutory consultee;

·         The noise impact would be minimal from the memorial hall due to building regulation standards and restricted licensing laws; and

·         The insertion of new inward-opening windows including one extra window would not affect the street scene.


In response to matters raised, the planning officers reported that:

·         They considered that due to the size of the property and changes to Government policy, which supersede the Local Plan, it was not necessary to market it as a commercial opportunity;

·         If the property wasn’t listed, the applicants could convert it under permitted development rights; and

·         The tarmac area allocate for parking is in ownership of the applicant and designated highway land.


The committee considered the planning application, with advice from officers where appropriate. Although some members were satisfied that the any future occupants would be aware of the memorial hall and that converting to residential use would ensure its maintenance, other committee members believed that the application would result in un-neighbourliness to both the occupants of the dwelling and the memorial hall, parking issues and had concerns with the lack of amenity space.


A motion, moved and seconded, to approve planning permission was declared lost on being put to the vote.


A motion, moved and seconded, to refuse planning permission was declared carried on being put to the vote.


A motion, moved to approve listed building consent was not seconded.


A motion, moved and seconded, to refuse listed building consent was declared carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: to refuse planning permission for application P16/S1904/FUL, due to the following reasons:


The proposed development would result in a poor quality living environment for the future occupiers of the dwelling by way of lack of privacy and noise disturbance due to the proximity and use of Tetsworth Memorial Hall, would provide insufficient parking and lack garden amenity space.  As such the proposal is contrary to saved policies H4, D3, D4, T2 and EP2 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan and Paragraph 17 of the NPPF.


RESOLVED: to refuse listed building consent for application P16/S1835/LB, due to the following reasons:


There is insufficient information to assess the full impact of the development on the listed building in respect of the provision of soundproofing to the building and windows to achieve acceptable levels of noise insulation.  Without such information to show that the designated asset can be conserved in an acceptable manner, the limited public benefit of the proposal would not outweigh the potential harm to a designated heritage asset. As such the proposal is contrary to Policy CSEN3 of the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy, saved Policy CON3 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan and Paragraphs 131, 132 and 134 of the NPPF.

Supporting documents: