Outrage as ‘Nook’ bedroom plans refused by Planners

There was collective outrage at Moyle District Council last Monday night when Planners gave nine reasons for refusing plans for the building of guest bedrooms at The Nook near the Giant’s Causeway.

The application was brought by Portnaboe Ltd for lands at The Nook at 48 Causeway Road in Bushmills.

The plans were for ten guest bedrooms in two new buildings contained within the curtilege of The Nook, however, Planners refused the application, giving nine different reasons for doing so.

The reasons given for refusal were that the application was “out of keeping with the listed building in terms of scale, form, massing and proportions”.

Planners also said the scheme would “adversely affect the integrity of the setting of the Giant’s Causeway and the Causeway Coast World Heritage Site” and another refusal reason stated that the application was not of an “appropriate design, size or scale for the locality”.

Another reason given for refusal was that the plans would be a “detrimental change to the rural character” of the area, that they would not visually integrate into the landscape and another stated that they would represent a “detrimental change to the rural character of the local area” and would “adversely affect the intrinsic environmental value and character of the area”.

Turning down the application, Planners also said that the bedrooms would not be “subsidiary in terms of scale to the existing building” and also said it had not been demonstrated that the building would not “detract from the landscape quality and character of the area”.

Councillors were unanimous in their criticism of the Planning department for refusing the application, saying that tourism and employment in the area needed to be supported.

Cllr Robert McIlroy said that businesses in the area needed to be sustained in these difficult economic times and needed to be encouraged to bring additional jobs to the area. Cllr Joan Baird called the decision “incongruent” to other schemes which had been passed by Planners.

Cllr William Graham said he was disappointed by the list of reasons given for refusal.

Cllr Randal McDonnell said that a “very practical application” was facing “nine gobbledegook objections” from the Planners.

Cllr Padraig McShane said the lengthy list of reasons for refusal was “second to none” and called for an office meeting with Planners and the applicant to discuss the matter further.

Cllr Sharon McKillop also called for an office meeting. Cllr Seamus Blaney said the area lacked in investment and yet “here is a man who will step up to the mark and the Planners are turning him down.”

It was agreed to call for an office meeting with Planners and to invite the MP to attend.