Second appeal resolves porch planning row

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A LONG standing battle by a couple living near Sleaford to keep a characterful porch on their barn conversion has finally been supported by a government planning inspector at a second appeal.

Paul and Edwina Wooster will not have to knock down their porch on their barn conversion at Evedon after winning an appeal against refusal of retrospective permission by North Kesteven District Council.

The council refused planning permission for the erection of a single-storey entrance porch in September 2011 and this decision was initially upheld on appeal as the porch was said to be in a prominent location and an incongruous addition. But at a second appeal the planning inspector ruled that the porch added visual interest and was not at odds with the building.

“The decision has saved what we think is a beautifully built porch from the demolition gang,” said Mr Wooster.

“When it was initially refused I was tempted to smash it down in a fit of anger. Fortunately my architect Clive Wicks talked me out of that and he took it to a further appeal.”

Mr Wicks added: “Unfortunately, this was a retrospective permission and there was, in the decision making process, a misunderstanding of what they call Permitted Development Rights by those making the decision. The decision process was littered with mistakes, which ultimately took a second planning inspector to sort it out satisfactorily.”

Mr Wooster said: “We have had sleepless nights, not because of the cost but because of what we felt was a decision made not on design or planning grounds but purely because we built it without planning permission.”

Mark Taylor, head of environment and public protection at NKDC, said: “A consistent approach was taken by NKDC throughout and the first refusal for retrospective planning permission for the porch was supported by the Planning Inspectorate, which resulted in enforcement action taken to remove the porch.

“On appeal, the second Planning Inspectorate report found in favour of planning permission for the porch, which demonstrates how planning is not always black and white and that some decisions can merely come down to the judgement of the decision taker.”