Wednesday 28 February 2018
Two-storey 'shoebox' wooden house that started life as a BIKE SHED.
A tiny home that is wedged between two houses and is one tenth the size of a tennis court is to be rented out for £800 a month. The two-storey wooden house, measuring just 36 square metres, is sandwiched between two brick-built houses on a town's high street. Originally put up as a bike shed, it has been the subject of a bitter planning dispute for years but has since been approved for residence by the local council. It's owner Mark Keely said he's only looking to rent the property but believes it could be worth as much as £300,000 on the market. While it may seem tiny, the open-plan house has a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and separate living area, and direct access to the High Street in Wheatley, Oxfordshire.
Mr Keely, a property developer, was originally only granted permission to build a bike shed on the plot of land, which was formerly used as a car park for a solicitor's office next door. As plans were underway, he changed his mind and submitted two applications to build a two-story building but these were rejected by South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC), which said it was not in keeping with the Wheatley conservation area. Following the refusal, district councillor David Turner said: 'I guess we all felt that it was just far too small a space to put a proper home in and it also had implications for the neighbour. Another Wheatley district councillor, Toby Newman, said: 'The application is right at the heart of the conservation area in Wheatley. It was out of keeping with the village and so I know that was one of the reasons why councillors voted against it.'
However, Mr Keely, who owns Keely Construction, appealed these decisions to the Government's Planning Inspectorate, which overturned the council's decision and even ordered them to pay compensation to the housebuilder. A district council spokesman said: 'Due to the restricted size of the residential unit and the potential impact the work would have on the character and appearance of the conservation area, we and members of community believe this proposal is out of keeping with the surrounding High Street area. 'However, the Inspector did not share our concerns and allowed the appeal.'
'The costs awarded in respect of this case were £4,514.82.'
Local authorities with the most decisions overturned at appeal in 2016 and 2017
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