Huge ‘contemporary’ home approved for green belt in Stalybridge minutes after summer house rejected

By Charlotte Green, Local democracy reporter

A HUGE ‘contemporary’ house in the Stalybridge countryside has been backed by councillors – minutes after they threw out a man’s plans for a summer house in the greenbelt.

Members of the planning committee have approved proposals for a large three-bedroom home with a ‘green roof’ to be built on land south of John Street in Heyrod.

Although technically within the greenbelt, the meeting was told that the plans were acceptable as a different ‘teletubby’ style home had previously been approved for the same site, and ‘very special circumstances’ could be applied.

The site currently contains several buildings that appear to have been used for agricultural or smallholding purposes, the meeting was told.

Planning officer Steve Kirkham said the site has an ‘unkempt appearance’, but the ‘principle of residential development has already been established’.

“The case presented by the applicant is such that the open character of the land would be retained as the building would be largely underground,” he added.

“Officers are satisfied that the proposals would not have an additional impact of the openness or landscape character of the green belt above that of the extant (expired) permission.

“This would form an exemplar development which would have positive environmental impacts.

“Ultimately it is considered that the design is an improvement on that which had previously been granted planning permission.”

Richard Mowatt, speaking on behalf of the applicant Mr Rigby said it would leave a ‘positive local legacy’.

He explained that sustainable energy and efficiency measures would be used to make the house as carbon friendly as possible.

“The development would be highly sustainable and designed using ‘passive house’ principles,” he added.

However, Councillor Doreen Dickinson raised concerns that the house was recommended for approval, when earlier in the same meeting the panel had turned down part-retrospective proposals for a pergoda and summer house.

That application for land opposite 20 Hill End Cottages on Hill End Lane, Mottram, was rejected by the panel, on officers’ recommendations, as they argued it represented ‘inappropriate development’ in the greenbelt.

The meeting was told that neighbouring properties have historically erected sheds and outbuildings but they had been there longer than four years, and as such are exempt from planning enforcement.

Cllr Dickinson said: “What upsets me about this, this really stands out in the greenbelt and I personally have just refused a summer house that nobody would see on the principle of harming greenbelt.

“Anyone that knows Heyrod knows that it’s absolutely hilly so you can’t hide that from people, that will stand out in the greenbelt.

“I’m at a loss for words for how planning thinks that special circumstances warrant this building. I’m talking about the impact on people walking, riding, driving, it will stand out.”

Cllr Jack Naylor added: “We’ve just refused a summer house and a pergoda, whereas now we’re talking about a substantial house in the middle of a hill.

“But ultimately we couldn’t refuse this application on the grounds of it being greenbelt because of the extant application so it’s more about the design elements.”

Mr Kirkham replied that the ‘very special circumstances’ around the dwelling were based on the previous planning permission for the site, and the ‘design merits’ of the proposals.

“The site has been previously developed and comprises a number of outbuildings. The loss of those buildings does help to improve the openness and character of the green belt.

“It is flanked by development to both sides. In terms of impacts it seemed to be negligible, it’s largely positive.

“There will be views from distant vistas of this dwelling I can’t deny that.

“But good architecture I don’t think should really be ashamed of itself, I address panel members today and say this is a sufficient high-quality design, an exemplar development.”

All councillors aside from Cllr Dickinson voted to grant the development planning permission.

One Reply to “Huge ‘contemporary’ home approved for green belt in Stalybridge minutes after summer house rejected”

  1. Hippocrates, refusing planning for a small summer house on greenbelt land but want to approve a village on greenbelt land. Get real TMBC PLANNING.

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