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Council Committed to Protection of Community Assets
A planning appeal challenging South Hams District Council’s decision to refuse permission for the redevelopment of the Bay View Café in Bigbury, has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.
Plans to build four new luxury homes in place of the café and the adjoining Warren Cottage were refused by the council on 11 October 2016. The application was refused on the grounds that the café should be kept as it is an important community facility and a tourist asset. Warren Cottage and the café are landmark buildings and have a degree of heritage interest in the village.
When the council refuses planning permission, the applicant has the right to challenge that decision at an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. The Planning Inspectorate is a Government Body with individual inspectors who are appointed by the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. This appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate on 19 January 2018. South Hams District Council are very pleased with the result, which upholds the council’s decision.
Issues relating to the status of the cafe as an Asset of Community Value, and the potential demolition of buildings* under Permitted Development, are entirely separate to the planning appeal and are ongoing. In some cases, Permitted Development will still allow developers to demolish buildings, but this is ultimately beyond the control of the council.
Cllr Hilary Bastone, South Hams District Council’s Executive Portfolio Holder for Customer First, said: “This is a great result for the council and an important decision which highlights our commitment to protecting Tourist and Community Assets through the planning process. This decision will help us in safeguarding facilities, not just in Bigbury but across the South Hams coast.”
*EDITOR’S NOTE: The application to demolish the cafe/ Warren Cottage was recently refused on the basis that inadequate information about the process was provided – see this website for more. The appeal by the developer against the Asset of Community Value designation will be heard by a tribunal in April/May.