Old offices to become home

The former parish council offices
The former parish council offices

COUNCILLORS have rejected advice from officers and approved a plan to convert former parish council offices into living accommodation.

The plan to convert the former Newby and Scalby Parish Council offices had been recommended for refusal because current policy stated that it should continue to be used for business purposes.

But the applicant said that, as well as residential use the building would also be used to teach music.

The building was originally advertised by Scarborough Council for business purposes but there was no interest.

Cllr Nick Brown asked whether the building had to be used full-time as a business premises. He said: “Twenty-nine hours of music tuition to me seems to be a fair usage.”

Paul Cooper, a planning officer with the council, said that it had to be the “primary use”.

Jill Low, the council’s planning manager, said: “Lots of businesses have ancillary residential accommodation attached to them but it’s generally ancillary to the business use.”

But she added that to be considered primarily as business use it would be around 50 hours a week. She said: “It’s getting that balance right.”

Cllr Brian Watson said he had been disappointed when he had seen the recommendation to reject the plan. He said: “I’ve always thought it’d make a good house – there is plenty of land around it and it’s in an attractive area. I am quite willing that we go against the recommendation.”

And Cllr Amanda Robinson said that there had been no interest expressed when the building was advertised for business use.

Cllr Michael Jay-Hanmer said that the applicant’s music tuition business seemed very lucrative. He said: “I think it’s a very brave application and I wish her well in it.”

Cllr Herbert Tindall said it was a good use for a building which had not be used for some time.

The application was approved with two votes against it and one abstention.