House opposite Ouaisné pub given the go-ahead

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At a public Planning Committee hearing yesterday, a number of objections were raised about the planned four-bedroom home, which would feature a small swimming pool, on the site of the former La Cotte Cottage.

However, the concerns were dismissed by panel members who did not request any changes to be made to the submitted plans, which they approved unanimously.

A different set of proposals for the site, which is currently empty, was originally approved in 2010 but a new design was re-submitted three years ago by applicant Paul McLachlan. Compared to the original plans, the revised version reduced the space used by the property by half and increased the building height by 1.3 metres.

Speaking at the hearing, Ken Jenkins, the proprietor of the Smugglers Inn, said that the increased height would deprive his pub of light and that he was concerned about the ecological impact. He also questioned whether the new building would blend in with the surrounding area.

He added that he believed increasing the height of the wall would make the road more dangerous as the view of the car park at the bottom of the hill would be restricted.

Planning officer Lawrence Davies said, however, that once the new wall is built the road will be widened, which he suggested would make the road safer rather than more dangerous.

He also showed pictures which he said indicated that the Smugglers would not be seriously deprived of light by the development.

Panel chairman Deputy Russell Labey said that he thought that the design of the new building was an improvement on the previous design.

‘I think that this is a sensitive issue because it is opposite a much-loved pub, which is the Smugglers Inn,’ he said.

‘But I feel that these plans will be better for the Smugglers Inn than the previous.’

Panel member Jeremy Maçon, who rejected the initial application in 2010, said that he did not like the design of the new building or the old one but that was not reason enough to reject it.

Speaking to the JEP after the panel made its decision, Mr Jenkins said: ‘It is a shame such an ugly and out-of-place building will now be built in such a beautiful and sensitive area.’

The other members of the Planning Committee were vice-chairman Deputy Graham Truscott and St Lawrence Constable Deidre Mezbourian. Deputy Richard Rondel excused himself from the hearing but did not say why.

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