Appeal after national park refuses plans to rebuild Lynchmere fire home

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Plans to rebuild a cottage which was destroyed in a devastating fire at Lynchmere eight years ago have been refused by the South Downs National Park Authority despite being approved by Chichester District Council planners in 2009.

Now the owner of the house Mrs Imogen Overli is appealing to a government planning inspector in a bid to get the national park’s decision overthrown.

The year after the fire plans to rebuild the cottage in the grounds of Danley Hill which stands in Danley Lane at Lynchmere were submitted to Chichester District Council which was then the planning authority.

The plans were to replace the cottage with another home the same as the one which stood on the site before the fire.

Permission was granted, but building work did not take place.

In the mean time the South Downs National Park Authority was born which took over planning responsibility.

Planning permission for the replacement cottage in Danley Lane had expired and Mrs Overli applied to the national park to have it renewed last year.

But it was refused on the grounds that the size and scale and level of living accommodation went beyond what could reasonably be expected to be ancillary to the main dwelling.

“It would result in a building capable of independent accommodation with no functional link to the main house” which said planning officers, was contrary to development plan and national plan policies which restricted development in the rural area, particularly in the national park.

The appeal is to be dealt with by way of written representations to the government planning inspector.

At present a public inquiry into the appeal is not planned.

Fire destroyed the cottage in January 2008, leaving the South African couple Tom and Paddy Eva who rented the house with nothing except the clothes they were wearing.

Paddy, who was a nurse at Chase hospice, even lost her uniform in the fire.

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