The retrospective application was for the retention and remodelling of the feature at 45 Harbour Road, in Beadnell, and was recommended for approval, but this was just the latest stage in the saga.
The applicant had only built the box dormer in the first place because he was told he didn’t need to apply for planning permission by the county council’s planners.
This was an error as the property is in the area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), where there are stricter rules on development, as in conservation areas.
When retrospective permission was first sought, it was refused. The council then began enforcement action, which was upheld on appeal.
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But planning officer Ragu Sittambalam confirmed that the new scheme, which the agent described as architecturally imaginative, was recommended for approval based on its own merits, not because a mistake had been made.
David Feige, from the AONB Partnership, said that the application was ‘making the best of a bad job’.
• A decision was also due on plans for a new extension and residential units at Lemmington Hall, as well as a change of use to residential with function use, but it was withdrawn from the agenda.