Zero carbon house in Bohemia Road, Hastings. Ken Davis is pictured. SUS-210426-123636001

St Leonards man ordered to remove one storey of eco home renovation

A St Leonards man has been ordered to remove a complete storey of a property he is renovating into the borough’s first zero carbon house.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 3:15 pm

Ken Davis is renovating 130 Bohemia Road but the project has been delayed after the council asked him to remove a storey of the building after an application to extend and alter the building was refused.

Mr Davis has now apologised to residents of Bohemia Road or anyone who passes along it for ‘the unfinished state’ of his property.

He said removing a complete storey of the three-storey building would make it ‘lower than the original building’, which also had three storeys and ‘unviable as a workable house’.

Hastings Borough Council said Mr Davis submitted an application in February last year for ‘extensions and alterations to create a zero carbon two bedroom dwelling’.

However, this application was refused and Mr Davis appealed the decision. His appeal was later dismissed by the planning inspectorate, according to the council.

A spokesman for the council said the refused application included ‘works that have already been carried out’ on the building. As a result, the council’s planning enforcement team is ‘pursuing the matter’, a spokesman added.

Mr Davis accused the council of choosing a ‘confrontational approach’ which he claimed went against the climate emergency the authority has declared and ‘the need to improve the thermal performance of our building stock’.

He added: “I not only received an award from the Civic Trust for the proposal but have also had many positive comments from local people about what I am trying to achieve and, indeed, the original planning officer.

“If someone can explain the logic of HBC’s actions against me I would appreciate an explanation, but perhaps it just fits with the same logic as building hundreds of new houses on flood plains when there are plenty of other places available.”

Hastings Borough Council said: “Hastings Borough Council’s planning department received a planning application in February last year (HS/FA/19/00998). This application was for ‘extensions and alterations to create a zero carbon two bedroom dwelling’. This application was refused in October 2020. The applicant then appealed the decision however the appeal was dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.

“As the application which was refused included works that have already been carried out the Planning Enforcement Team are now pursuing the matter.”

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