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Observatory Planning Permission

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Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 11/03/2014 - 17:36
Observatory Planning Permission

Help!

I have owned a Pulsar full height 2.7m observatory for about 4 years and last year my wife and I moved house to a Grade 2 Listed house in South Somerset. For me to install the observatory I have to obtain planning permission. My first planning application was rejected, so I have applied for a second time incorporating their recommendations. Unfortunately it appears that the planning application is still going to committee.To cut a long and tortuous story short,does anybody know of or has anybody out there, that has successfully made a similar application? I'm actually after some supplementary evidence/precedence that I can present to the council.

George

Grant Privett's picture
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Joined: 28/12/2014 - 18:30
Grounds

What were the grounds for rejection? Was it because the building is listed, because its in a conservation area or something more mundane like being over 2.4m high and near a boundary?

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Grounds

The grounds for the rejection were....

"The proposal, by virtue of its siting and design, presents a form of development considered to cause 'less than substantial' harm to the setting of the Conservation Area and the Grade II listed building. In the absence of any overriding public benefits to overcome this identified 'less than substantial' harm, the proposed development is contrary to guidance within Chapters 12 and 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework (July 2018) and Policies EQ2 and EQ3 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006-2028)"

They basically thought it was an inappropriate structure (modern fibre glass) within the grounds of a listed building. I've reapplied taking into account the conservation officers recommendations.

My new application has been virtually given the go ahead by the conservation officer and planning officer but the District Councillor who is also a neighbour is raising an objection. No neighbour objections were raised in first application and only at the 11th hour 

Grant Privett's picture
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Objections

Isnt his raising an objection at this late stage a conflict of interest?

Also,someone not far from here and had a Meade LX200 in his observatory - which was in a conservation area. He appears to have got round it by making the observatory walls out of stone and flint (local materials) and making the roof dark.

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I have questioned the council

I have questioned the council on the conflict of interest side of things and they do appear to be investigating that. I'm not holding my breath though,.

My revised planing scheme included planting Western Red Cedar around the the observatory and growing it to a height of 2m. I also included painting the visible crown of the observatory (the dome above 2m in a sympathetic colour).

As I said the conservation officer is happy with the new scheme, its just the neighbouring district councilor who is the problem..

George

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Joined: 04/03/2014 - 22:00
Planning

my residence is in a designated conservation area and hence I needed planning permission for my 2.1 Pulsar observatory. Note the house itself is not listed - it is a contemporary construction.

Before I submitted my application I spoke to the planning department and also to neighbours. The main concern was that the obsy should not be visually obtrusive. the planning officer asked whether the building would be white or silver as that might cause problems. I indicated that a number of colours were available including green.

When the approval came through, the only stipulation was that the fibreglass must be green! I considered this to be a result. Since this colour was also favoured by my wife, I was able to proceed.

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Joined: 06/04/2014 - 20:41
Spouse's planning constraint

Fortunately where I live an observatory is considered permitted development by the Local Authority providing it’s single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.

I had planned to elevate my observatory in the centre of the garden which would have made it taller than 3 metres so modified my desires. Unfortunately my wife’s conditions required that the building not be on view from any window at the back of the bungalow, which was a far more serious constraint. Our garden does extend around one side of the properly so that was the only “permitted” location. This placed it in amongst the greenhouse and other sheds which was not ideal because they caused restrictions on the amount of sky viewable, but there it was erected. However, that was 25 years ago, now most of my neighbours either have bright garden floodlights or illuminate their gardens at night so having the observatory tucked away in the shadow of other buildings has proved very useful indeed.

I have since thanked my wife for being so farsighted!