PA23/08849: AN application to remove a hedgerow on land in Gunnislake has been refused by Cornwall Council. 

Mr Christopher Morgan applied to the local authority with a submission for Hedgerow removal to enable larger gateway access for modern machinery for his property at land near to Duntreva, Stony Lane, Drakewalls, Gunnislake. An accompanying officers report said: “Calstock Parish Council were consulted on the application and offered their support on the condition that the Cornish hedgerow cited on the plan is made a condition of approval and that a forestry officer oversees the work. 

“A five-day protocol was conducted with the Parish Council where officers explained that the hedgerow is considered ‘important’ and that the proposed removal is not justified and would have a notable adverse impact on the Tamar Valley National Landscape. 

“Following this, the Parish Council agreed with officers’ recommendation to refuse the application. In 8.14 of ‘Hedgerow Regulations 1997 A Guide to the Law and Good Practice’ it is clear that ‘the presumption is in favour of retaining important hedgerows’ and it goes on to say in 8.16 that ‘The circumstances in which an important hedgerow is allowed to proceed are likely to be exceptional’. 

“Little detail has been provided regarding the justification for the removal of the important hedgerow, only that it is required to create access to the field. There is an existing access point in to the field. Whilst it may be the case that the existing access is not adequate for the applicant’s intended purposes, this does not indicate exceptional circumstances to justify the removal of the hedgerow. 

“The existing hedgerow is considered to provide a valuable contribution to the character and visual amenities of the surrounding area and the National Landscape. 

“Whilst it is acknowledged that the section of hedgerow to be removed is small-scale in the wider context of the National Landscape, it is the replication of these small changes that have an erosive, cumulative impact resulting in harm to the historic landscape character. No wider social or economic public benefits or overriding justification have been identified to outweigh the harm.

Refusing the application, Cornwall Council, in issuing a hedgerow retention notice, said: “On 1 November 2023 you gave notice under regulation 5(1)(a) of the above Regulations that you proposed to remove the lengths of hedgerow indicated on the plan(s) attached to your notice. 

“Cornwall Council, now gives you notice, under regulation 5(1) of the said Regulations, having taken into account the reasons put forward for the removal of the hedgerow, that it is not satisfied that there are circumstances which justify the removal of the hedgerow. 

“Consequently the work specified in your notice MAY NOT be carried out, and further that the said length of hedgerow must be retained and removal consisting of or including any such work is HEREBY PROHIBITED.”

“The hedgerow in question is considered to be important as it has existed for over 30 years and meets criteria 5a of Part II of Schedule 1 of the Hedgerows Regulations 1997. 

“The removal of any section of this hedgerow will have a notable adverse impact on the natural and historic landscape character of the area (designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), which is not outweighed by any clear benefit.

“The removal of the hedgerow therefore fails to comply with policies 2 and 23 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010 - 2030 (adopted November 2016), paragraphs 174 and 180 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2023 and policy C1 of the Climate Emergency Development Plan Document 2023.”

PA23/09223: PROPOSALS for the construction of an extension and alterations to a dwelling with construction of an outbuilding for a property near Padstow have been refused by Cornwall Council. 

Mr Nick Daley applied to the local authority for the work at his property at Tamarisk, Old Macdonald’s Farm, Portcothan, Padstow. 

There were no objections from members of the public, however, there was one from St Eval Parish Council.  In objecting to the application, the council’s planning committee said: “The St Eval Parish Councillors voted to object to this Planning Application. The front of the property facing the road is out of character with the rest of the property. The extension is felt to be too large in proportion to the rest of the property. The Summerhouse could be construed as extra accommodation.”

In the submission, the applicant told Cornwall Council: “The proposed works will not significantly alter the character of the site. The proposed garden room will function as a home office, allowing the applicant to work from home in an office environment, which will enable the applicant to work more effectively without having to use transport to go to an office. 

“It is considered that the proposed development represents the appropriate development of previously developed land and buildings, which is entirely consistent with relevant policies contained within the Cornwall Local Plan 2010-2030 (2016) and and the St. Eval Neighbourhood Development Plan 2014 - 2030. 

“There are no material planning reasons that suggest that the proposed development should not be supported by Cornwall Council, and as such the development should be approved without delay, in line with the presumption of sustainable development that underpins the planning system. The proposed new entrance will enable safer access and egress to and from the site. The proposed extensions and alterations to the dwelling will improve the residential amenity of the site and will make better use of an existing development. 

“There are no material planning reasons that the proposed development should not be supported, and as such, in line with the presumption in favour of sustainable development should be approved without delay having regard to the statutory determination obligation prescribed by section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.”

Refusing the application, Cornwall Council told the applicant that in its view, it could not grant planning permission because: “By reason of its siting, scale and design, the front extension would represent a discordant addition to the principle elevation of the host property that would appear incongruous with and harmful to the character of this cluster of development and would erode the local distinctiveness of the rural landscape. 

“The development does not fulfil the environmental aim of sustainable development and conflicts with policies 1, 2 and 12 of the Cornwall Local Plan Strategic Policies 2010 - 2030 and paragraphs 135 and 139 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2023.