August 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
A councillor’s application for a new three-bedroom bungalow to be built on green belt land was approved last week, despite officer’s recommendations to reject it.
In December, the Regulatory Services Committee approved plans submitted by vice chair Cllr Barry Tebbutt to demolish an existing building in Southend Arterial Road, Upminster, and replace it with a two-bedroom bungalow.
But at last Thursday’s meeting, plans were approved for a three-bedroom property, with a larger roof than previously proposed.
Cllr David Durant voted against the proposal. He said: “The size of it clearly drives a coach and horses through green belt policy.
“But for some reason the Conservative, Ukip and Residents’ Association (RA) members thought otherwise and approved Cllr Tebbutt’s speculative green belt application!”
The plans were approved by eight votes to two, with two abstaining. Cllr Tebbutt was not present at the meeting, and claimed he had been treated poorly by the council over the matter.
“They’ve made me jump through hoops for this applciation to be approved,” he told the Recorder. “There’s a building 200 yards away from this site that is bigger than the one I applied for.
“My application was recommended by Ukip and seconded by the RA, which was nice. Cllr Durant was one of two to reject it, and I don’t really like him. Out of 10 residents that were questioned, only one opposed.”
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states the construction of new builds is inappropriate in green belt land.
Exceptions to this rule include replacement buildings, “provided the new building is in the same use and not materially larger than the one it replaces.”
The report stated that in this case it would be larger than the one proposed in December, and was therefore inappropriate in principle.