Eco-home would spoil views of traditional seaside village

A self-build, energy efficient home on the edge of a seaside settlement in Cornwall has been refused for harm arising from its siting, scale and design on the appearance and character of the surrounding conservation area and the scenic beauty of the area of outstanding natural beauty in which it was located.

The contemporary styled new home would be on the site of a Nissen hut located just beyond the built-up area of an adjacent picturesque seaside village. The latter was characterised by buildings with traditional vertical emphases, of stone-build and with pitched roofs and could be seen set against the green hillside behind from long distance views across the harbour.

The inspector considered the proposal could not be regarded as infill or rounding off because it was too separate from other buildings traditionally seen as part of the village. The inspector also felt that even if the scheme could be regarded as a replacement dwelling or on previously developed land with some development potential, it could not find favour due to its adverse aesthetic effects from its discordant siting, scale and design. The inspector held that even with the set-back glazing and a grass roof, the horizontal emphasis and considerable scale of the building and its extensive fenestration would draw undue attention, day and night, and distract from the aesthetic pleasures of what was currently a green gap on the edge of the village. In concluding, the inspector acknowledged the scheme’s contemporary and innovative design but held it was quite simply not contextually suited to the site and surroundings. Rather, it would be ill-at- ease at the edge of the traditional village and jarring on the eye from publicly accessible widespread distant and nearby viewpoints, harmful to the appearance and character of the area, the conservation area and the AONB. 

Inspector: Douglas Cramond; Written representations

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