Lilliesleaf mum to take home blow to next level

Carol Andrew at the plot of land already owned by her where a planning application  to build a bungalow has been refused. The plot is immediately behind her existing property in Lilliesleaf.
Carol Andrew at the plot of land already owned by her where a planning application to build a bungalow has been refused. The plot is immediately behind her existing property in Lilliesleaf.

A Lilliesleaf mum says she is considering taking her fight to build a home for her disabled daughter to the council’s head of planning.

Carole Andrew’s application to construct the bungalow beside her home in the village for 23-year-old Rachel, who has epilepsy and additional needs, gathered the support of the local community.

But the bid was rejected earlier this month because the site sits metres outside Lilliesleaf’s boundary.

Mrs Andrew, who was angered that a family member was informed via email of the decision before she received a notification letter, said: “I am bit lost at the moment as to where to go next. It may be that I need to go higher and arrange a meeting with Brian Frater before I consider an appeal.”

Planning officer Andrew Evans said in his report on the application that it did not meet any of the four criteria for a planning bid outwith the local plan to be accepted.

He explained: “The development would not meet the council definition of affordable housing, a housing shortfall has not been identified in this housing market area, and whilst the development would be of benefit to the applicant and her daughter, and not to diminish in any way from the substantial community support forthcoming to the application, it is clear that the development of a single house on this specific site would not offer any wider community benefit in the planning definition of the 
term.”

Mr Evans added in his refusal report that it would be acceptable for Mrs Andrew to build the bungalow in her garden, but she replied: “Without pleading poverty, I have been a widow for 20 years and building in my garden would knock up to £50,000 off my property.

“I just want to build a home for my daughter and give us both some security. I am still hoping common sense will prevail.”

A total of 23 letters and a 58-signature petition from Lilliesleaf residents backed Mrs Andrew’s plan, which came about after Rachel fell down stairs at their house.