Agenda item

FUL/MAL/19/00038 - Wickham Place Farm Station Road Wickham Bishops

To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance (copy enclosed, Members’ Update to be circulated)*.



Application Number



Wickham Place Farm Station Road Wickham Bishops


Change of use of annexe to single family dwellinghouse


Mr & Mrs Wilson


Mr Stewart Rowe

Target Decision Date


Case Officer

Hannah Bowles



Reason for Referral to the Committee / Council

Member Call In by Councillor H M Bass

Reason: Public Interest


The Officer presented their report, after which Mr Stewart Rowe, the Agent, addressed the Committee.


Councillor H M Bass opened discussions on the application by informing the Committee that the annex had stood on the site since 1703 when it was originally three separate dwellings and drew attention to the fact that the building was already in situ with amenities.


The Development Management Team Leader, Planning Services, advised that although the annexe may have originally been the main residence on site, when the current primary dwelling was constructed the applicants entered into a legal agreement that the building remained an annexe.


A debate ensued where the Committee discussed the current housing supply, whether allowing the change of use would set a dangerous precedent and expressed sympathy for the applicant.  Members also noted that annexes were always conditioned to be used as an annexe.  Reference was made to previous applications from neighbouring properties and it was confirmed that any application needed to be determined on its own merits.


In response to questions from the Committee the Development Management Team Leader, Planning Services, advised that twice the dwellings at the site could result in double the cars, and that the intensification of use.  It was also confirmed that the Housing Policy team had recently recalculated that Maldon District Council’s housing supply and confirmed that a five-year housing supply (incorporating a 5% buffer) was in place.


Councillor H M Bass proposed that the application be approved contrary to the Officer’s recommendation as the application would not cause issues with regards to sustainability and access, in addition to the aforementioned reasons given, and this was duly seconded.


The Chairman put the proposal of approval to the Committee, and upon a vote being taken the motion failed.


The Chairman then put the Officer’s recommendation of refusal to the Committee, and upon a vote being taken the motion was carried.


RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the following reason:

1                 The application site lies outside the defined settlement boundary of Wickham Bishops wherein both policies of the Development Plan and Government Guidance points towards the continued restraint of new development in the countryside.  It is considered that the proposal to remove the tie between the annexe and the main dwelling would result in the creation of a separate dwelling unit which is unjustified in its rural location and would intensify the domestication of the site.  Further, the development of the site for a new dwelling remote from community services and essential support facilities and inaccessible by sustainable modes of transport in this rural location is contrary to the overarching objectives contained within the NPPF 2018.  The poor accessibility to the site would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal when assessed against Policies S1, S2, S8, D1, H4 and T2 of the MDLDP and the Maldon District Specialist Needs Housing SPD.




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