Planned homes linked to restoration of listed North Lincolnshire building allowed on appeal

Restored: Grade II-listed 14 Greenhill Road, Haxey
-Credit: (Image: Karen Robinson)


Two proposed homes linked to the restoration of an empty Grade II-listed building that was in "very poor condition" have been allowed on appeal.

Last summer, North Lincolnshire Council's planning committee rejected plans for two homes in the garden space of 14 Greenhill Road, Haxey, on a split vote. Applicant Karen Robinson appealed and a planning inspector has overturned their decision.

The homes will be four bed each, and five parking spaces will be created. During the original application, it was stated finance for the restoration works on Grade II-listed 14 Greenhill Road, which have taken place, was linked to the new homes being built. The listed building had been empty for five years.

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The proposal was not objected to by neighbours, and was decided by councillors after Haxey Parish Council opposition. Axholme South Ward Cllr Judy Kennedy also made representations against. The parish council argued it would have an "unacceptable negative impact" on residential amenity and neighbours' privacy. Cllr Kennedy called it "backyard development" at a planning meeting.

Deferred for a site visit, it was refused in July on grounds of highway safety and the effect on the preservation of the listed building's setting, with a view it was overdevelopment within the space.

Planning inspector L N Hughes has now issued their appeal decision and allowed it.

The proposal would reduce the site's openness, impact rear views of the listed building, and use of garden land would create "some harm to the historical understanding of the building and its setting". But this harm was limited, the two homes "would not appear cramped" and privacy concerns were dismissed.

The proposal was also not viewed as causing harm to highway safety or the road network. Concerns had been made over parking and access visibility to Greenhill Road from the private road. The inspector found there is no visibility on one side until close range, but expected car speeds to be low and drivers would have enough time to react. A condition was still placed, though, for detailed design of the junction of the private road to Greenhill Road.

Pre-restoration, the Grade II-listed building in Greenhill Road, Haxey
Pre-restoration, the Grade II-listed building in Greenhill Road, Haxey -Credit:Google Streetview

Inspector Hughes put "great weight" on the linkage of the homes to financing for the Grade II building's restoration. It would not directly enable the works on the 18th Century homes as this had already been done under separate planning permission. However, evidence given offered "no reason to disbelieve" that the new homes profit would contribute to the listed building works.

"Those works were identified as having a financial deficit, which the proposal would bring to a break-even point," Inspector Hughes states in their decision. The listed building was at "real risk of being lost due to its very poor condition" and had no prospective owners for many years. "As such, its preservation and enhancement for future generations is a clear public benefit," the inspector stated.

Applicant Karen Robinson said in reaction to the appeal decision: "This project of restoring one of the oldest properties in Haxey has been very challenging. However, I have had incredible support by the residents of Haxey, which has been inspirational and through those many difficult times a kind word of support and approval has kept me going. All the work on the property has been by local tradesman who have been my rock, with their expert advice and expertise, quality of workmanship and guidance so far."

She commended the council's planning department and conservation officer for supporting it. Cllr Kennedy had not been in contact before or since the initial refusal, Ms Robinson said, nor seen "first hand the enormous task" she had to restore the Grade II building.

"It is such a shame that the restoration of a historical building is side-lined in favour of local political antics and I am thankful that the appeals procedure ruled completely in my favour," she added.