Man calls for help for self-builders after hopes for own home are dashed
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
A man whose bid to build his own home was turned down by council planners has called for more support for self-builders.
Dean Bailey, who lives in Lenwade, said councils should be more open to self-build projects, especially in light of the expected post-Covid-19 economic downturn and the government’s aim to reform planning procedures and simulate the construction sector.
Mr Bailey, 50, said: “We just wanted to put something up within a short space of time, but we feel like we’ve been let down. The government wants to kickstart the economy. Helping self-builders gives the smaller companies more of a chance - the big developers will always survive.”
Mr Bailey applied to South Norfolk Council (SNC) in 2015 to build a four-bedroom home on an in-fill block belonging to a family friend on Taverham Lane, Costessey.
SNC refused the plans for reasons including negative visual impact and a lack of a footpath to “key local facilities”.
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Mr Bailey appealed the decision, but the Planning Inspectorate dismissed it in April 2016, upholding the council’s ruling.
But Mr Bailey said other similar, projects had been allowed, and he could not understand why his had been turned down.
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“They should be doing more to help rather than hinder,” he said.
An SNC spokesman said the council was confident their decision was the correct one.
The spokesman said: “The council undertook a detailed assessment as set out in the delegated report and the inspector set out a detailed assessment in their decision.
“SNC is supportive of self-build in planning terms and this accrues positive weight in the decision-making process, however, it does not outweigh/override other planning related concerns that may exist.
“For example as in this case where other concerns surrounding the adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area would occur and the overreliance on the car to access a range of services and facilities are identified.”
Mr Bailey said he had also appealed to MPs for help on the issue, but so far without a positive result for his plans.