Published:
September 25, 2014
Burnham couple ordered to remove terrace in council planning wrangle

An angry Burnham-On-Sea couple have been ordered to remove a sun terrace outside their home which Sedgemoor District Council says is breaking planning rules.

Brian and Ann Nicholls initially built the wooden decking area in 2012 on a flat roof above their kitchen, pictured here, at the rear of their home in Burnham's Oxford Street.

"We don't have a garden and simply wanted to create a little outside area as a sun trap with a few flowers and a table and chairs, especially with my husband's poor health," Ann told Burnham-On-Sea.com. "It doesn't effect anyone else and is built entirely on our own property."

But the couple have endured 18 months of council discussions which have ended them in being served with an enforcement notice to have the decking removed.

Ann explained: "We were told back in 2012 by the builder that we wouldn't need planning permission because it was a small change to our own property, but a year later a planning officer from the District Council noticed the changes while walking along a lane at the back of our property and told us that we would in fact require permission."

"This came as a shock to us, but we applied for retrospective planning approval from the council, as suggested, to try and resolve the situation. However, this was turned down on the grounds that the decking broke local planning guidelines, partly because nearby properties could be overlooked. In fact, we have letters from our nearest neighbours saying they have no objections."

The couple appealed against Sedgemoor's decision by submitting a formal application to The Planning Inspectorate last autumn, but that bid was dismissed.

Now, they have been ordered by Sedgemoor District Council's enforcement team to remove the decking by November.

"We are very disappointed by this decision - we've spent almost £5,000 on the decking and the ongoing action and will soon have to spend more to have it removed unless the council reconsiders," said Ann.

"It's very upsetting this has happened when there are other properties in Burnham with similar decking that have been approved."

A Sedgemoor District Council spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The unauthorised decking at first floor level cannot be reasonably mitigated by 1.8metre high screening. This results in an unacceptable level of harm to the amenity of neighbouring residential properties and is inappropriate to the character of the area. The application is therefore contrary to Policy D16 of the Sedgemoor District Core Strategy."

The couple are now considering their options after the council's notice

 


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