WW2 bunker to dwelling allowed on Cornish heritage coast

The conversion of a WW2 bunker to a dwelling in the Cornish countryside was allowed as the re-use of a redundant historical building, with no harm to the appearance of an area of great landscape value or heritage coast.

The bunker was constructed to house equipment and armed forces personnel during the Second World War and was categorised as being a non-designated heritage asset. The inspector noted that the bunker, by the very nature of its siting to protect personnel and equipment during the war, was very inconspicuous in the landscape and only visible from very close proximity. Further, as the appeal site was set inland and not on a plateau, the inspector held it was not reflective of the key characteristics which led to the designation of the area of great landscape value or the heritage coast and felt the proposal would not therefore diminish the significance of either designation.

The council had argued the scheme also fell foul of their exceptions policy restricting new development within the open countryside as the site was not previously developed land as the bunker had become permanently blended into the surrounding area. The inspector thought otherwise, stating that whilst the site was overgrown with vegetation, the bunker appeared as a distinct and separate structure and the proposal would represent the beneficial reuse of a redundant historical structure located on previously developed land. The inspector found no conflict with local or national policy and allowed the dwelling.

Inspector: Andrew Spencer-Peet; Written representations

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