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Mother of five frustrated with Cleeve Hill holiday home setbacks

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 22, 2012

FRUSTRATED:    Louise Houston with son Angus, 15, on Cleeve Hill

FRUSTRATED: Louise Houston with son Angus, 15, on Cleeve Hill

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PIPE dreams to turn former public toilets into a holiday home on Cleeve Hill have left a woman fighting an 18-month battle with planning officers.

Louise Houston wanted to turn the lavatories into a place to stay when she visited her five children and four grandchildren living in Cheltenham and Winchcombe.

After buying the toilets from Tewkesbury Borough Council in April 2011 for £35,000, she was told by planners there should be no problems with changing it into a home.

Two planning applications have been turned down and she is waiting anxiously on the outcome of a third.

Louise, who grew up in Cheltenham before moving to Port Isaac in Cornwall, said: "It is disingenuous for them to have sold it at a public auction then not let the planning application go through.

"I have worked with the council and we have tried everything. I just want a place to stay when I visit my children and grandchildren.

"Each year that goes by, the place is left to waste and rot."

Objections have been raised in the past by Southam parish council and The Open Space Society, insisting the proposals would create an adverse visual impact.

Louise's architect, Danny Sullivan, from Design For Living, said he did not understand the council's decisions.

"We have worked closely with the planners to try and make it work, but we have gone away disappointed time and time again," he said.

"We were told it would affect the rural landscape in the area, but it is not open grounds."

Tewkesbury Borough Council's development control manager Paul Skelton said: "The site is in a very prominent location on Cleeve Hill so it is important any works to the building respect the high quality setting in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

"The previous application was refused as we did not feel the necessary standard of design had been achieved.

"We are in the process of assessing the current proposal."

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  • ShorterNews  |  December 24 2012, 3:40PM

    Please don't rise to CharlesPK's spoilt child-like behaviour. You won't get an informed discussion out of him. Just bile, pseudo-science, and hatred for anyone not belonging to the privileged classes. Try Googling him and see what you find...

    Rate   2
  • Takeaway22  |  December 24 2012, 10:07AM

    Hi everyone. I haven't been banned as threatened by Charlespk. Charlespk - So you started making accusations on this page BEFORE I started commenting on it saying I am "constantly offensive"? I've got to you haven't I? If that is the case, I apologise, I wasn't aware that you were so sensitive. I love this comment from you though. It starts off with "I make comments. . I don't answer questions." (I think it should have read "I can't answer questions but hey ho) followed 2 lines later by "You are apparently just another of the "I can't so you shan't brigade". Does that contradict each other? Again, KETTLE, BLACK, POT CALLING and THE have any resonance? Merry Christmas to all!!!! :):):):):):):)

    Rate   1
  • Bonkim2003  |  December 23 2012, 10:18PM

    Charlespk - Ireland is bust, and in the U.K there is plenty of land with planning permission but developers will only build against firm bookings and when there is money in the mortgage market. Most that need homes cannot afford to buy, open market rents are over the top and those who need housing help just do not have the lolly to put a deposit or pay high rents - and social housing build is pretty low in relation to the long waiting lists. This lady thought she will make a fast buck - don't begrudge her - but her buying this and getting second home planning permission or making a profit will make little difference to the unsatisfied demand for housing. Social changes have created more households, also immigration, and the housing situation is dire - don't see much hope - and comments out of envy - many on TIG will not change that.

    Rate   4
  • Charlespk  |  December 23 2012, 8:09PM

    The New World produces sum potent old vine varieties also, it is true. . They have the climate. . But I have to admit I am now rarely seduced away from a well aged Right Bank Claret. . But I will still be voting UKIP. :(

    Rate   -6
  • raidermanuk  |  December 23 2012, 6:00PM

    Charlespk Another year I have been unable to source any Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz. Was a gift to the world from Aus but sadly no more.

    Rate   -2
  • Charlespk  |  December 23 2012, 4:45PM

    The pub! . . Did you say the pub? . What too drink flat beer or grotty Vin de Pays? Hardly Woof. . I shall be opening a drop Chateau Lardit later perhaps. It's a Cotes de Castillion. The 2003 is drinking quite nicely.

    Rate   -10
  • raidermanuk  |  December 23 2012, 3:49PM

    Charlespk Ah, so you've been down the pub then!

    Rate   -1
  • Charlespk  |  December 23 2012, 3:26PM

    I make comments. . I don't answer questions. Obviously you don't understand the problem, and neither do you don't want it solved. You are apparently just another of the "I can't so you shan't brigade". Good luck to you. . You'll need it. Life revolves around people making gains from interactions with others. . Farmers plant potatoes because planting one, makes it turn into many more and they can sell them and make a profit. . Not because they 'love you'. Builders don't build houses for you because 'they love you' The government doesn't have any money. . All it has is the money it collects from people who do make a profit. . If that lady makes a capital gain she will be taxed and the government will have some more money to keep the unemployed with. This situation demonstrates fully why this country gets into a pickle every time socialism is let loose. Have a god Christmas.

    Rate   -3
  • raidermanuk  |  December 23 2012, 2:45PM

    Charlespk "There is a shortage of housing driving up the cost of all houses. The more houses that are built the better for all" So is your comment relating to this story specifically and, if so, are you suggesting that they grant planning irrespective of all other considerations? Also, don't you think it's strange that Takeaway22 has 11 red arrows - unless someone is manipulating the system?

    Rate   1
  • amy86  |  December 23 2012, 1:43PM

    One story on this board is about a couple with no home, camping a park over Christmas. Another about a lady struggling to get planning permission for her second home...ahh, first world problems! What will become of her "holiday home" the other 50 weeks of the year she doesnt live in it whilst another family has nowhere to live?

    Rate   14