Plans to convert an abandoned former water tank and pump hall into a two-storey home have drawn concerns from neighbours.
Tony and Linsey Allen have applied to South Derbyshire District Council for permission to carry out the works, along with the creation of an open air car port, in Bog Lane, Melbourne.
However the decision will be made by members of the council’s planning committee on Tuesday, August 8, as the application is contrary to the development plan in that the authority’s planning policy only allows modest alterations and extensions. Planning officers have recommended it for approval.
The pump hall and water pressure tank dates back from the early 20th century, and over several years the building tank and site have been left vacant.
The applicants claim that the pump station hall would be largely retained as it exists, with the roof lifted.
A report to the council added: “It is considered that the proposal would contribute positively to the economic, social, and physical context of the site and create a sustainable individual and harmonious home of high quality contemporary architecture and design.
"This would not cause any adverse impact on residential amenities through overlooking or overshadowing and would meet highways requirements. The resulting scheme represents and provides a high quality living environment both visually and environmentally, and the distinctive home would positively enhance the site and surrounding context providing a desirable and safe family living environment.”
Melbourne Civic Society supports the application, commenting it is an interesting, if high maintenance, scheme, adding that the site should look better on completion than it does in its present abandoned state.
However, the plans were met with five objections/comments from members of the public who raised concerns claiming the planned home seems much larger than the existing footprint.
There was also claims that a traffic increase would be dangerous for families living in Bog Lane and frequent walkers; as well as the loading/unloading during construction work would obstruct access for others; along with claims of inadequate parking provision.
However, the council’s planning officers said: “The layout of the site provides for adequate parking and turning space, with the car port capable of housing up to four domestic vehicles – more than adequate for a four bedroomed home as proposed.”
They also admitted that the two storey connecting element is considered to be “an extensive extension and alteration”, saying: “It is for this reason the proposal is considered to conflict with the development plan. However, that is not to say it is unacceptable. The design has evolved to draw in the wider landscape setting, being in the National Forest, ensuring that it respects and does not dominate over the original components.”