Sleaford businessman to appeal planning decision against Airbnb rooms in converted shipping container branded 'appalling' by councillors

The shipping container behind EDS B & B. Photo: NKDC
The shipping container behind EDS B & B. Photo: NKDC

A Sleaford businessman whose application for two Air BnB pods in a converted shipping container was turned down has promised to appeal.

John Price saw his planning application for a furnished container behind the Eat Drink Sleep B&B off Southgate turned down by North Kesteven District Council on Tuesday.

In a post on its Facebook page, NKDC said members of the planning sub-committee had labelled it as "appalling".

"Appalling, ghastly, horrible, truly hideous, an abomination, awful' - all reactions by councillors in response to this shipping container being used as an an AirB&B in Sleaford," it wrote.

"A planning committee last night refused a retrospective application for it to be used behind EDS B&B."

The committee felt it to be incongruous with a Conservation Area and harmful to the area and it’s listed buildings. One side is already converted into a ‘pod’ with access cut into the container wall, shower, toilet, seating and double bed, but work had stopped on the second one. Solar panels and an outdoor area with artificial grass were planned to complete the set-up.

The scheme was refused as inappropriate development for the location due to its design, appearance and use of materials harming the character of the listed building and Conservation Area.

However Mr Price, 50, said he was upset by how he found out about the decision and would be appealing after receiving lots of support.

Mr Price, 50, who spent 13 years in the RAF revealed he had contacted NKDC following their decision.

"I am from Sleaford," Mr Price said." We genuinely believed the application was good for the town and was not detrimental.

"I am upset at the way the council have gone about things, plastering the decision on social media before I had been told.

"The area where the shipping container is located was dead space and we believed it was a good use.

"As the shipping container is mobile we did not believe it needed planning permission.

"When we were told by the council in June that it did need planning permission we immediately ceased work.

"I only learnt that our application had been turned down from social media.

"I rang the council to get some clarification as the wording of the refusal notice was very abrupt and suggested there would be no change of heart.

"I spoke to the duty planning officer who agreed with me.

"However I will be appealing. I think the council put it on social media in the hope of getting support, but it seems to have backfired and we have had lots of support."

One of many locals who commented on the council's Facebook post spoke in support of the scheme saying: "Think the councillors need to get out more. Looks fine and perfectly well thought out, out of sight from the public and sustainably powered."

Another resident commented: "To be fair all they really need to do is put in an order for it to be clad appropriately to fit the area... Would be a good idea if councils took note of what's possible because if we did more of this then we could house the homeless very well and very cheaply."

Another added: "I’m sorry but utter rubbish, these pods are great, can’t believe that the council would stand in the way of much needed, and well thought out accommodation, and the fact they’re recycled shipping containers is even better! I hope this can be re-presented to the council and they reconsider their decision."

Mr Price added in reply: "The pictures they (NKDC) have picked show it in the half finished stage from the worst angle. It isn't visible from any private house. It is intended to be part of the B&B which is currently there."