Planning Application for a Apartotel at Ivanhoe Nurseries Ironwell Lane Hawkwell

August 30, 2015 by  

Application for Prior Approval for the Change of Use of Agricultural Building (North Unit) to Class C1 Apartotel :Ivanhoe Nurseries Ironwell Lane Hawkwell

If you read the above the Government has decided that Agricultural Buildings may be converted without much formality to Class C1 (hotels).

Yes you read that right !!

But under the new Government rules this cannot and will not go to Councillors to decide on whether to Approve or Refuse.

The Decision will be made purely and solely by Council Planning Officers and we are not even sure whether we or residents can even comment.

As Ward Members we will, of course, and so should any residents who are interested.

Just put the reference 15/00578/DPDP3 into



One Response to “Planning Application for a Apartotel at Ivanhoe Nurseries Ironwell Lane Hawkwell”
  1. Editor says:


    Rochford District Council Planning Department.
    re 15/00578/DPP3M.

    We are Rochford District Council Ward Members for Hawkwell West and object to this Application.

    We have read the details submitted by the Applicant as requested by us and supplied by the Council.

    The description of an “apartoltel” is unclear and we are not sure if this is covered by the C1 Class applied for. Could this be used for homeless accommodation?

    The site is as stated in Green Belt but the existing buildings are not of a solid construction being greenhouses and therefore of an open and opaque aspect that allows visibility through the structures resulting in an openness that would not be retained if solid walls were to be erected. The site is adjacent to green belt and highly visible from the surrounding countryside to the East. Therefor we consider that this would have a detrimental impact on the openness and appearance of the Green Belt.

    The existing floor of the building is mainly earth, with a few concreted pathways. Again it is not of a solid construction and the proposal would alter that aspect.

    The Applicant states that the proposal conforms to R1, paras, (a) –( e), and we would ask that the Officers independently check this, particularly, in relation to (a) and (b).

    The Applicant states that the proposal conforms to R2, paras, (a) – (c), and again we would ask that the Officers independently check this aspect..

    From the plans provided it would appear that the intention is to alter the layout of the existing greenhouses, not convert the structure as it stands but to alter it and this would be effectively a rebuilding, not a conversion and outside of the spirit of the intention of Permitted Development Rights.

    The submission by the Applicant states that ‘the site has good vehicular access and that ‘any traffic increase resulting from the development is mitigated by the decrease in agricultural traffic’.

    We do not find this to be accurate. The site is located down a narrow, single track green lane, without any pedestrian walkways; “a statutory Green Lane”, which we believe maybe unadopted by the Highway Authority and as the agricultural buildings have not been in use for some considerable time to any notable extent there is at present no appreciable traffic to or from the site. The junction of Ironwell Lane to Rectory Road is not ideal for traffic use and the lane itself is often used by pedestrians and cyclists to access Rochford and the increase in traffic flow would create a danger as there are no footpaths.

    To summarize the access via Ironwell Lane (a Green Lane) is unsatisfactory because it is too narrow to justify additional traffic movements which by virtue of being residential will be greater and more regular in terms of the residential occupants, staff and third parties visiting these proposed premises. The Highway Authority should be consulted especially as it is a Green Lane.

    There is no parking shown on the plans and bearing in mind the use envisaged, the number of units (12) and the staff/office accommodation, we can only assume that the parking required would be in excess of the parking use at present and if it is to be included within the curtilage would not be an acceptable change of use from green belt/agricultural greenhouses to a hard covered to car park. If the intention is to provide parking elsewhere on the site that again raises concern regarding the statement that ‘the remaining area surrounding the site ………………be returned to arable, pasture, or other non- intrusive usages. Parking is not non-intrusive.

    Indeed, the stated intent of the removal of the other structures on the site, whilst welcome, it is unclear as to how this would increase visual amenity as the new building will front the road and also be highly visible from the adjacent Green Belt, this ambiguity leads to concern and uncertainty.

    There is no reasoned and detailed case as to why the Reasons for Refusal on previous applications will not continue to stand in the context and details of the application site or then new reasons of justification for the new application.

    If this information is subsequently requested of the Applicant by the Council, which must be received in writing to be formally be accepted, then as Ward Members we would expect to see this and be able to comment before any Delegated Decision is made.

    As elected representatives we do trust that our views will be given appropriate consideration.


    Christine and John Mason

    30th August 2015