Here’s something a bit diferent… planning application 13/00693/FUL on Foulness Island. It’s the last item on this weeks weekly list, and will be passed if no councillor calls it in by next Wednesday.
It’s basically an application to allow some former allotments to be a communal garden with some sculptures. It is a retrospective application – the sculptures are already there. The location is “Land Opposite 19 Churchend, Foulness Island”
Here’s some extracts from the report:
….This application is retrospective and seeks retention of the land as residential garden/storage and the retention of various sculptures including faux Roman ruins, steps, a sculpture of one plus infinity, a loggia, Buddha pizza oven and canopy, marble sculpture tropism, marble sculpture gala and marble sculpture daemon…
24 letters and drawings of support have been submitted with this application from the community of Foulness and in addition to this a petition in support has been signed by 88 people. Whilst the proposal description refers to the site as ‘residential garden/storage’ it is clear from the letters and from a visit to the site that this area has been left open to the community of Foulness to view and use as a community garden.
The site is a parcel of land surrounded by trees and hedging on its boundary. There is no planning history confirming the historical use of this area although the supporting information suggests that its last use was as allotments…
….It should be made clear that it is the exceptional circumstances at this site relating collectively to the previous allotment use, the unique nature of Foulness Island, the enclosed nature of the site with hedging and the community support towards this venture which makes this proposal acceptable. This should ensure that a precedent would not be set for comparable land to be used as residential garden in general across the Island. This equally would not allow a precedent to be set for other sites throughout the district to undertake similar work which are more likely to be located within the Metropolitan Green Belt and thus to be more stringently controlled anyway…
Essex County Council Conservation Dept. don’t object , even though they have doubts about having some of these items inside a conservation area (CA):
Comments as follows:
o I have no objections in principle to the proposed change of use of the site from allotments to what is basically a “sculpture garden”.
o While this is, in theory a very nice idea, some of the larger features of the garden are considered to have an impact on the character and
appearance of the conservation area.
o The loggia and the canopy of the “Barry the Buddha” recycled pizza oven are not of the standard of structure expected in a CA, are extremely unsightly and would, if seen from the public realm, have an adverse impact on the CA. The “faux Roman ruins”, while not unattractive in themselves, are so out of place in the CA that they would detract from its character.
o I understand that the intention is that the garden will be screened by bushes – “anything visible will be concealed by further growth”. This seems reasonable to me. The site would be much more effective as a
“secret garden”, anyway, with the element of surprise.
o I raise no objections to the application, and consider that the problems of the potentially unsightly appearance of a few of the items of display would be resolved by the use of planting – native species, preferably. I suggest a condition of permission to the effect that a programme of new planting/maintenance of existing be produced by the applicant and agreed with your arboriculturist, to ensure that this happens
You can find the full application here.