A railway enthusiast has been given the go ahead to create his dream home in the style of a railway signal box in Nutbourne.
Despite the disapproval of officers, councillors on the district planning committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of the home on Broad Road as an innovative addition to the area.
The existing property, which has not been lived in for around 40 years, lies outside of agreed development boundaries, but the parish council told the committee the old railway storehouse was an ‘eyesore’.
Cllr Miles Cullen, who pulled in the application for a committee decision, said the new home was a ‘novel’ idea, and it would be a shame to let it stand derelict.
He said: “We’ve got all our policy, we’ve got our neighbourhood plan and the real question is, will this enhance the locality?
“I honestly feel that this will be a real enhancement to this particular locality and get rid of something that is unsightly and has got no other real purpose.”
But Cllr Simon Oakley and Cllr Carol Purnell were uncomfortable with the idea of building outside the neighbourhood plan.
Cllr Purnell said: “I’m extremely worried about development that is going to set a precedent for future appeals against places when we’ve said no on the basis it’s outside a settlement area.
“Putting a building there, despite its innovation, could potentially open up that whole side to future development.”
Concerns about noise and vibration were also debated, but councillors noted that the proximity to the railway was and would likely remain a key part of its appeal to occupants.
Permission was granted 11 votes to three.
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