A Kesgrave father is in yet another appeal battle after threat of High Court action

Robin Byford who is being taken to the High Court by Suffolk Coastal District Council over planning

Robin Byford who is being taken to the High Court by Suffolk Coastal District Council over planning permission to turn his garage into a house. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Coastal District Council vowed to take Robin Byford, 61, and Government planning inspectors to the High Court after their refusal was overturned in January.

Mr Byford, 61, first applied to convert the garage at his property in Hall Road, Kesgrave, into a starter home for his daughter, now 27, in 2013. What followed were several revisions to the plans and numerous refusals by Suffolk Coastal District Council on the grounds that it would cause harm to the appearance of the surrounding woodland.

A planning inspector overruled SCDC’s refusal in January, however when threatened with High Court action by the council agreed to reconsider the appeal. A new decision has not yet been released, and Mr Byford hopes support from the nearby community will work in his favour after receiving 73 letters of support from nearby residents. A similar case in Witnesham saw permission granted after 37 letters of support were received.

In addition, in the latest central Government budget, Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne said more pressure would be put on local councils to allow residents planning permission to build on their own land.

“All that has happened through all this messing around is the appeal is going to be re-decided,” said Mr Byford. “It’s now been 15-months since we put in the latest application, and all at a time that the Government is saying planning should be quicker. We tried to do everything correctly. We are the only ones that are hurt by this whole thing.”

Suffolk Coastal’s cabinet member for planning, Tony Fryatt, said: “This is not about this individual application but about the principle which we always strive to uphold of protecting the environment. As such, we had no option but to challenge this decision. Had it gone unchallenged, it could have sent a signal for other inappropriate development across the district, which could have adversely affected the quality of our environment which we all steadfastly try to protect.”

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