Family needing new cottage in Cornwall due to coeliac disease refused

A couple’s bid to build a home for their daughter who has coeliac disease has been refused “with regret” by councillors.

Mr and Mrs Jennaway had applied to Cornwall Council for outline planning permission to build a small cottage in the garden of their home at St Clether, near Launceston.

Planning officers had recommended that the East sub-area planning committee should refuse permission when it considered the application.

They said that the site was in open countryside and that under planning policy new homes would only be permitted in special circumstances. They said that the application did not comply with any of the listed circumstances.

Mrs Jennaway addressed the committee and asked them to approve the application.

She explained: “The proposed house is for our daughter who is unable to live with us due to coeliac disease. “We have to adhere to a strict diet to avoid cross contamination.”

Mrs Jennaway claimed that the site was “previously developed land” and that the new home would not go beyond the boundary of the existing property.

She said that the new home would sit among a number of existing buildings in the area and that it could be considered as “rounding off” the site.

An overview of the site

An overview of the site

Planning officers had indicated that if the application had been for an annexe which would be reliant on the main home then it might have been acceptable. But Mrs Jennaway said that it would be better to have a standalone home.

Local Cornwall councillor Barry Jordan had supported the application and urged the committee to approve the plans.

He said that after Mr and Mrs Jennaway explained why the house was needed he “fully supported” the application.

Committee member Dominic Fairman said he had sympathy for the applicants: “It was a very moving and heart rending story of this family. It must be a terrible thing, we understand why they have come forward with that (application) it is not a situation any of us would like to be in with our children.

“Unfortunately we can’t take personal circumstances into account with planning decisions. There is a way through this with an annexe. We need a way through this as the family needs support.”

But he added: “Regrettably I will say we go along with the officers’ recommendation (to refuse permission).”

Andrew Long added: “I can understand the reasons for it but we are not in a position to take into account personal circumstances. Under policy there is very little to support this. With regret I have to second the recommendation for refusal.”

Committee chairman Nick Craker said he thought that it was a “grey area” that while an annexe might be supported a standalone dwelling wouldn’t be and he said that it was a policy which “needs to be looked at”.

The committee voted in favour of refusal with seven votes in favour and two against.

Falmouth Packet | Truro