Following last year’s change of use to a wine bar (“with no building works”), a further planning application – reference 14/501476 – has been made, for “Internal alterations to provide first floor kitchen and shower room plus new staircase, replacement windows to match existing. Small window to north east elevation to be lowered.”
The primary reason given for this application is that “to be more successful and ensure its longevity” the wine bar needs to provide food, and this requires further building works in addition to the ones that were not required in the first place. These works, coincidentally, will create what would appear to be a self-contained flat on the first floor, though residential use in this location is contrary to current planning policy.
The application was lodged some time ago, but it was impossible to comment since no details were available and there were also problems with access to the new planning website. Access is now possible, the details are now available, and the closing date for comments has been extended (until when is not entirely clear, but probably until end-August).
Anyone wishing to comment can do so online (with the new system you have to register before being able to make a comment) or in writing to Andrew Spiers (A. J. Spiers, Planning Services, Swale Borough Council, Swale House, Sittingbourne ME10 3HT / email email@example.com). To be taken seriously, comments should be based on reasonable grounds such as planning policies (eg, AAP2 and other local plan policies, or NPPF policies on heritage and flood risk) or amenity considerations (eg, impact on local residents) rather than personal opinion.
Faversham Town Council provisionally recommended refusal at its last meeting because no details were then available, but the application is likely to be discussed again at the next meeting on 26 August (7pm, Guildhall). Members of the public who wish to express an opinion will have an opportunity to do so in the public session before the meeting.