Holiday lets planned at farm near Beckley

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Proposals to build two “low-energy” holiday lets at a farm near Beckley are to go before Rother planners next week. 

On Thursday (July 19), Rother District Council’s planning committee is set to consider an application to build two timber buildings at Woodgate Farm in Church Lane, which are described by developers as being of a “low-energy” design. 

According to the applicant, the buildings are expected to be used as holiday lets during summer, but could also be used as studios and workshops during the off-season.

In a design and access statement submitted as part of the application, a spokesman for the developer said: “The aim of this proposal is to create a modern, low energy cluster of buildings whilst respecting the building traditions of the rural English landscape. 

“Drawing inspiration of form and materials from rural agricultural buildings, the proposal contributes to and enhances the landscape. 

“The robust yet simple detailing and contemporary use of form and materials will ensure the longevity of the buildings.”

According to planning documents, the proposed buildings would be grouped together in a paddock area to the south east of the main farm building.

One would be a two-bedroom building, while the other four-bedroom longhouse.

The proposals, however, have proven controversial with several neighbours, who have raised concerns.

Planners have received nine letters objecting to the scheme, raising concerns about disruption and noise from the site being used for holiday letting as well as its impact on the AONB. 

The scheme is also not supported by Beckley Parish Council, which considered the proposed buildings to be “extremely large in the context of the surrounding area”.

However, these concerns are not shared by planning officers who consider the application to be suitable and are recommending it be approved subject to conditions. 

In a report to the committee, a Rother planning officer said: “The proposal will provide a viable economic development, which will go some way to supporting the rural economy, will have an acceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area and the living conditions of adjoining residents and will not be detrimental to highway safety.

“Subject to the imposition of conditions and a legal agreement to prevent potential unwanted conversion of the buildings to dwellinghouses, the development is recommended for approval.”

For further details see application reference RR/2018/2673/P on the Rother District Council website.