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Walberswick: Cabin demolition bid due to be considered

07:45 25 January 2013

Luke Jeans outside Tows Cabin in Walberswick

Luke Jeans outside Tows Cabin in Walberswick

A SUFFOLK filmmaker is hoping to succeed in his second attempt to build a new home in place of an old fisherman’s cabin.

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Luke Jeans will find out next week if he can knock down 1930s cottage Tows Cabin - which has been in his family for three generations - and build a two-storey home in Ferry Road, Walberswick.

An application was thrown out by a district planning committee two years ago, in spite of the planning officer’s recommendation, because the size of the planned building would “not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area”.

Emmy-winning filmmaker Mr Jeans has since revised his design, while keeping within Environment Agency restrictions prohibiting residential development below high tide level.

The application has again attracted a number of objections, with 32 people inclined to send individual letters of disapproval to the council, mainly opposing the appearance and size of the proposed new property in a conservation area near three listed buildings.

However, a further 25 letters were sent in support of the proposal, one of which argued that “the whole village” appeared to have been invited to object, and adding: “I have been approached to express my objection to this planning application and I am not sure why, as I live in quite another part of the village and the proposal does not affect me either way.”

In a report to Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee, which meets on Wednesday to make its decision, officers have advised councillors that a number of standard letters of objection had also been received from visitors to the area. The report continues: “It is not the number of letters received in support or objection to a scheme that matter but the planning argument put forward.”

Officers have again recommended the approval of the application, recognising that Tows Cabin is a “unique building with some aesthetic appeal” but acknowledging that it complies with both national and local planning policies and should be supported, particularly with the presumption in favour of sustainable development in line with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPFF).

Mr Jeans, who was born and lives in the village, and intends to move into the new property once completed, said: “I’m very proud of the design and I’m very encouraged by the balanced planning report, which I think speaks for itself.”

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