Saturday, 30 September 2017

Creeping Planning Applications - A Masterclass (Part 2)

First Attempt Tuctaway in 2010


Read Part 1 first here.

The first planning application on the site was lodged on 15 July 2010 with Tendring District Council. The documents relating to this application (10/00819/FUL) can be found here. It is worth noting that the trees on the western end of the plot were subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs).

Tuctaway in 2013
 There were 26 formal comments and of these 25 were to object to the plans. Those that were made available online at the time can be viewed here.

One correspondent,  (the elderly resident of Tuctaway, Jaywick Lane, Clacton On Sea, Essex CO15 2DR), wrote in with a NEUTRAL comment, but the basis for this neutral stance is not clear as their comment is marked as being unavailable.

Tuctaway was sold on 23 October 2013 for £143,000. Interestingly, Tuctaway has since become part of the scheme involving Grove Cottage and Willow Park Farm.


To return to the planning application of 2010 (10/00819/FUL).  A sketch plan of the proposed building works is shown below.






This application, for the "demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 12 x 3 Bed detached bungalows and garages thereto",  was refused. The officers decision report is date June 2011, so it took nearly a year for a a decision to be made.

This may partly have been due to the number of comments received from the public. As mentioned above, the application was refused. If would would like to see the reasons in detail for this, please see the documents on the Tendring District Council Planning web pages.The main reasons given for refusal were:


"This proposed design solution is bland and fails to create a sense of place."

"No tree survey or report has been submitted with this application to allow a proper assessment of the immediate impact of the proposal on protected trees or the extent to which obstruction to daylight and sunlight reaching the proposed residential properties has the potential to harm the long-term viability of the trees (taking into account future growth). A drawing entitled 'Root Protection Plan' has been submitted, but this does not mark Root Protection Zones in the correct position."

"....the development also fails to respect the existing character of the area."

The fact that there was no ecological survey of the site did not bode well either.

This was all summarised as:

"...the proposal is unattractively designed, not in keeping with the surrounding area, and threatens trees protected by Tree preservation Order. Consequently the proposal would harm visual amenity....."

and

"..that "an initial scoping or extended Phase 1 habitat survey should be conducted to assess the site and the results  of this used to inform (the need for) subsequent species specific surveys". No such information has been provided with this application." 


The architects for the scheme were Paul Newbold Planning and Building Design Services of Clacton-on-Sea.

The developers were not to be put off, however, and they returned with a different scheme some time later. This will be the subject of my next post......



Thursday, 7 September 2017

Creeping Planning Applications - a Masterclass (Part 1)

I have a friend who has had to move into supported living in the Clacton-on-Sea area.

As a good citizen, (rights and responsibilities etc.), I thought I would look into the background of the brand new premises that my friend would be moving into. It was a revelation and it introduced me to the concept of the "Creeping Planning Application" (CPA).

To make use of this approach to getting round all sorts of planning rules and regulations you must be patient, superbly prepared and not at all impulsive. Success also relies upon the local planning officers being overworked and local residents being indifferent or unaware about how planning applications come to be successful.

It is a complicated story, perhaps not an easy read, but it will fill you with admiration for the focus and determination of those making the application to get what they want.

Here goes....... Oh, by the way, I will publish this in several instalments. Just like the "Creeping Planning Application" technique.... an exemplar of deferred gratification.

One more thing before I start. Although this is about a plot of land in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, it can be universally applied across the UK....and indeed it is!

The property I have chosen for this exemplar of a CPA is (or was!) Grove Cottage, Jaywick Lane, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 2DR. It was an attractive, thatched building in its own considerable grounds. See the aerial view here:

Aerial View of Grove Cottage

The label at the end of the above link is placed by Google in the wrong place (I think!). I am not a local, so I may be mistaken. Anyway, the building and its grounds that I am interested in is the one I have marked and roughly indicated in red below. I will come back to the blue line later!

Grove Cottage from Google Maps (see link above)



Whilst preparing this post I came across the Street View photograph of the building as in the picture below (at the end of the link too). I was fairly shocked to see what a lovely building this was! In fact, I would have thought it should have been listed. Sadly, that horse has bolted.

Grove Cottage in October 2012 from Google Street View (see link below)

Grove Cottage before its demise.


The "birds eye" view from Bing Maps, at the end of the link here, shows the house in better times, before it had been sold in 2010. The next picture is an extract from the Bing Maps view.

Grove Cottage - a birds eye view from Bing Maps - pre-2010(?)

On 31 March 2010 the property was sold for £650,000 and was purchased by, according to the title at The Land Registry (EX804229):

WILLOW PARK DEVELOPMENTS LIMITED (Co. Regn. No.
06821377) of 92 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO15
1SG and of Willow Park, The Street, Weeley, Essex CO16
9JE.

This is where the blue line on the illustration above comes into play...I think. We will look at that in a later post.

For the moment, a final caveat.. I may be entirely wrong about this whole thing and I am hopeful that readers will take the time to enter debate, via comments, about the process and my understanding of it.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

36 Main Street, Pembroke - An Appeal Against a Refused Planning Application

An application was made last year to make an opening in the town wall at the rear of the above property. Summary particulars are:

16/1251/PA 

Validated Date:13-Mar-2017
Decision Date:19-Jun-2017
Decision:Refused
Application Type:List Bld
Site Notice End:14-Apr-2017
Publicity Notice End:19-Apr-2017
Area:Pembroke Town Council
Community:Pembroke: St Mary South
Main Location:36, Main Street, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, SA71 4NP
Full Description:Formation of opening in existing town wall to permit pedestrian access
Status:Decision Made

This link allows you to view and download all the documents associated with the application:


The above documents include:

Location Plans here and here
+other items.

The applicant has decided to appeal against the decision to refuse this application. The appeal is to be determined by written submissions to the Welsh Assemby. The letter below gives information about the procedure for the appeal. If you wish to comment, please note the deadline for submissions - 29 September 2017.



Below is my submission to Pembrokeshire County Council in response to the original planning application.



Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 8

A Rare Survival of a Seventeenth Century Cottage in the Parish of St. Twynnells, Pembrokeshire

The Roof....a little more revealed.

In part 7 I tried to describe the construction of the roof under the thatched part of The Park. In this instalment I said that I would try and explain the roof structure under the slated part of the house. However, new revelations under the thatched roof mean that the slated roof will have to wait! Since my last post I have been able to return to the cottage where the owner again kindly allowed me to look inside. Much work has been carried out to prevent the roof from blowing off in this winter's storms. Indeed, at times one corner of the roof was seen to lift by about one foot in the teeth of a gale!

Happily, the roof has been saved, but removal of the tongued and grooved panelling under the roof timbers has revealed how precarious the roof timbers are! It is excellent to see the efforts that have been made to preserve this fascinating structure.


Figure 1 shows that the roof timbers seem to have been repaired on several occasions. The rough, crudely shaped timber truss is probably part of an early roof. The truss behind this is of sawn timber and looks to be a late-19th /early 20thcentury repair by an estate carpenter, designed to relieve the strain on the earlier work. These trusses are bolted together.  It is surprising that the whole roof was not replaced instead of this piecemeal approach to repair. The timbers of the earlier truss are similar in nature to the slight and irregular pieces used as battens to support the thatch. These trusses are pegged.
Fig. 1 Roof timbers looking towards the parlour end of the house. These had been concealed behind tongued and grooved boarding.
Figure 2 again shows the hotchpotch nature of repair to the thatched roof. The rafters, in nearly every case have rotted where they meet the wall plate on the limestone walls. This is looking south-east.
Fig. 2. Another view of the mixed roof timbers under the thatched roof. Note the metal jacks used to prevent the roof collapsing during the last winter's storms.

In Figure 3 we can see how the trusses meet up with the upper wall of the lateral out shut.
Fig. 3. Looking south west at the roof timbers revealed by the removal of the "ceiling cladding".

Figure 4 seems to show a third effort at repairing the support for the roof. In the centre of the photograph is a nineteenth century truss, alongside a much earlier - (pre-estate?) roughly hewn timber truss. Beyond this a another truss of sawn timber, but of a much slighter design, possibly dating from between the times when  two other trusses were put in place. This truss is very similar to those at the north end of the house.
Fig 4. Looking north west from parlour door.

In Figure 5 the 19th/20th century roof timbers can be identified by the bolts holding them together. The roof timbers dating from an earlier period are slighter and have a chamfer. The earliest timbers are rough hewn with, in some cases, the bark still attached.

Fig. 5. A closer view of the truss discussed above, showing how it was fixed into the wall and the subsequent failure of this. This is the west wall of the house.


Fortunately, the date of some repairs made to the roof structure has been written, in pencil on a small piece of wood within the roof, formerly hidden behind boarding. The date is 1930. This may well correspond to the date that the tonged and grooved boarding was inserted or replaced beneath the thatch.


Figure 6 below shows some of the very modern looking pieces of batten that were affixed to the much older partition for the possible "crogloft" . These battens supported this tongued and grooved boarding. The boarding was then whitewashed.


Fig. 6. Battens (on partition) to support the (now removed) tonged and grooved boarding that ceiled the main living room of the house.


The figures below show some more detail of the fascinating structure of this rare survival of a vernacular roof!

Fig. 7

Fig. 8

Fig. 9



There will be many readers who know far more about old roofs than I do! Comments and thoughts would be much welcomed.

Next time, the roof structure under the slated part of the cottage.








Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 7

A Rare Survival of a Seventeenth Century Cottage in the Parish of St. Twynnells, Pembrokeshire

The Roof


Many of the old buildings in Pembrokeshire are difficult to date. This largely because of the lack of features that can be dated  stylistically. In the case of wooden features this is largely because for many buildings, whilst the stonework survives, any timber work has long been replaced or just rotted away when exposed to the wild, windy and wet elements.

In rural Pembrokeshire, thatched roofs of one sort or another were ubiquitous, particularly in rural areas. Many of the sketches and paintings by Charles Norris of buildings in and around Tenby, and elsewhere in South Pembrokeshire, show such roofs, many even then in decay. This early nineteenth century watercolour by Norris of St Florence, near Tenby, shows such houses.


The tin roof on the northern end of The Park is an indicator that at some point the house was thatched, and indeed the much decayed thatch beneath the tin is still there. There are other buildings, with tin roofs covering old thatch elsewhere in west Wales. The picture below is of a very small semi-detached cottage at Henllan Amgoed just over the border in Carmarthenshire. This building is on the market as I write this and needs listing and saving. It is another gem.
 Loving the tin shed too!


Thatched roofs could also be found up until not too long ago in the north of Pembrokeshire. The photographs below show two examples that I came across near Brawdy in North Pembrokeshire in the early 1980s. The photographs also serve to show the difference in building styles between this area and the good quality agricultural land around Castlemartin and Stackpole in the south of Pembrokeshire.


The cottage near Brawdy with the tin roof covering very decayed thatch. c1982


The crude roof timbers supporting the thatch. The hessian sacking hanging down once hid the thatch from view.

A view along the length of the cottage from the chimney end showing a timber an plaster partition and many collapsed floor boards from the crog loft(?).

Another view as above, but this time showing the darker remains of straw rope under-hatch nearer the camera


The house as it is today.

 Now to get back to The Park at St Twynnells. The northern end of the house, as mentioned above, still has the thatch in situ beneath the tin roof. As you go through the front door and look up, the thatch immediately catches your eye!

Looking towards the north gable of The Park. The large hearth area, as shown in Part 6, is just out of sight below this shot.


A closer look at the thatch under the west facing tin roof. The roof timbers seem slight, but the main rafters are chamfered, as are the collars pegged to the rafters. In places straw(?) rope securing the thatch can be seen looped around the very slight purlins.


The surviving timber framed lathe and plaster partition in the roof of The Park that separates the former loft space from the living area of the cottage. The slight remains of the floor of the loft can be seen on the right. The loft would have been reached by a ladder.

The main living room come kitchen of The Park. This is still under the thatched part of the house, but the thatch has been concealed behind plank boarding affixed to the roof trusses. The hooks hanging down by the range were used for curing bacon. The lateral outshut is on the right hand side, just behind the wooden pallet. Here the boarding has dropped from its original position.

The lateral outshut at at The Park showing the collapsing roof lining in this part of the house.
A reconstruction of the roofing arrangement of The Parke, in this view looking north from the southern end of the kitchen/living room.
The new owners of The Park are keen to restore the roof with thatch. The thatch may well give up secrets about the age of the roof and the type of straw used in its construction. They may even grow the specialist straw on one of the fields behind the house!

The winter storms have almost seen the roof finally succumb to the elements, but the determined efforts of the owners have seen that it will stay on for a little longer whilst it continues to give up the secrets of it construction.


In Part 8 of this series of posts, we will look at the roof over the southern "parlour". This is a slate roof, with a different construction style to that in the northern part of the house.





Monday, 14 March 2016

Short Changes at Gandish, East Bergholt Suffolk

Gandish Through Time


This is a brief post to experiment with the use of video in presenting a view of landscape changes over time.

The location shown is Gandish Road in East Bergholt, Suffolk. The short video is pretty much self explanatory!



Gandish Through Time Video









Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 6









The next few photographs show interior views of the fireplace and, oven and stack in the north gable of The Park.

The opening to the oven/fireplace is a about 4-5ft tall., with a wooden beam above. There is another wooden beam running across the floor of the opening. In this photograph a small stone platform is visible to the right of this opening. At the rear of the small "room" can be seen the doorway to the bread oven and to the right (not clearly visible here) is a fire grate with a "fitted" stone above.
The change in the colour of the lime wash on the gable wall betrays the level of an inserted ceiling and probable crog loft, now lost.


The oven visible today seems to have been a later insertion into the rear of the massive chimney



The oven has a circular domed top and is constructed from what appear to be cream coloured firebricks. The floor of the oven, where the burning wood would have been spread to heat the oven, seems to be of thick flagstone construction. There is no door surviving for the oven. To the right of the oven is a smoke blackened alcove with a small grate, again made of cream firebrick,  which may have been used for cooking or heating water. Now it seems to have a fitted stone shelf inserted above it of uncertain purpose.


The chimney stack is of massive limestone construction, blackened by smoke and soot. The western and back wall of the stack are vertical. The east and front walls taper until all meet to form a rectangular, near/y square flue. within the "fireplace" itself, on the western wall their is some irregular stonework, now covered in lime wash that might suggest the removal of an oven. the wall here seems, at first inspection, to be very thick. Perhaps with enough depth to accommodate an earlier oven? Similarly, the grate in the eastern wall seems to be a later insertion.



The build of the entire fireplace and stack has the appearance of being of better quality than much of the rest of the house.





In the next post I will look at the fireplace in relation to the northern part of the building.

See also:

The exterior of The Park









Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Park - A Rare Gem at Merrion - Part 5










The one way into the cottage is a door in the east facing wall of the house. If you are tall you will need to duck!



Looking down at your feet as you step over the threshold onto the quarry tiled floor, there are the grooves in the door frame to accommodate a drop down board - not to keep flood waters out (as in coastal towns like Aldeburgh in Suffolk), but, according to the owner for whom it was installed,  to stop a crawling baby leaving the cottage un-noticed!


 Below is the view of the north end of the cottage. The lathe and plaster partitions have been removed - notice the scar in the floor and the changes in wall colour wash.

The north end of The Park, looking towards the large "fireplace" and oven.


The same view as above, showing the position of partitions and doorways that have now been lost.

The view below is similar to those above, but taken on another visit, when it was raining hard!! The water was dripping through a hole in the roof near the gable and running down the floor, finding those aras that were slightly sunken dues to decades (centuries??) under foot. Again notice the scars in the floor where partitions formally stood. The small room on the left looks like it might have had a mortar floor. Also notice the irregularity of the west wall (left of picture) when compared to the line of tiles on the floor.

The north end of The Park. See notes above.

Longitudinal section of The Park
A good way of trying to understand how a building "works" is to try and reconstruct it with SketchUp.

The pictures in this post are of a 3D virtual model of The Park put together from photographs and a ground plan of the cottage. Whilst not accurate to scale, they do give a fair impression of how the house might have looked. 

The next post will look at the "fireplace and oven" in the north gable.