Published: October 28, 2010
A victory for people power! Residents win seafront flats fight

Celebrations were underway in a Burnham-On-Sea street on Thursday (October 28th) after residents won their long-running campaign to halt a seafront home being replaced with an 'obtrusive' block of 13 flats.

The Planning Inspectorate has rejected an appeal by property developer Moose Roper Limited to try and overturn the district council's decision to turn down proposals for a huge three-storey building at the end of Allandale Road. was first to report in July that the developer behind the controversial proposals had lodged a formal appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.

But inspector Chris Anscombe this week announced that the appeal had been thrown out on the grounds that the proposed development would have adversely impacted the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

He explained: "Whilst the appellants claim that the design is of a high quality, it lacks the detailing, finesse and delight of such properties which exist in both Allendale Road and Grove Road to the south."

"Whilst an attempt was made to hide the proposed third floor accommodation within the roof space, that roof space would be very bulky and significantly higher by comparison."

He added: "The proposed development would still be far greater in massing and scale than any of the existing buildings in Allendale Road or Grove Road. It would be set much closer to the sea wall above the beach than the adjacent houses at the end of Grove Road and, unlike the existing dwelling on the site, it would be obtrusive."

Delighted residents, pictured above on Thursday evening, welcomed the news. John Spottiswoode told "Common sense has prevailed - we're over the moon at the Planning Inpsectorate's decision."

And Gary Moorshead added: "We're delighted - we couldn't have lived here if the development had gone ahead."

John Mackie said: "The proposed building would have destroyed the street scene at the end of the road - the building would also have been less than five metres from the sea wall would have been at risk during stormy high tides."

And David Jenkins of the Allandale Road Action Group explained to earlier in the year why the residents were against the scheme: "The proposed block of flats would have represented over-development, be out-of-keeping with this area, and also would have intruded onto the beach scene."

They also felt the application would have set a dangerous precedent for other development along Burnham's coastline.

The application was considered by district councillors on Sedgemoor's Development Control Committee in April. They rejected the plans, going against the recommendation of the planning officer.

Residents previously won a bid in November 2008 to get the first planning application, for 14 flats, rejected on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate.

But the developers then submitted a new, amended planning application with one less flat and a different building design that they argue fits in better with the surroundings.


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