Widower’s plan for a holiday getaway for the disabled is vetoed by council

51 Stane Street, Halnaker.
51 Stane Street, Halnaker.

A widower who wants to build a holiday getaway for disabled visitors in memory of his wife has had his application refused by planning officers.

Despite four letters of support from residents and the full backing of the parish council, planning officers vetoed the project in Stane Street, Halnaker on the basis of possible light pollution to the national park.

Malcolm Knight, who has lived near Halnakeer for more than 30 years, said he intends to appeal the decision.

He said: “There’s an evident need for people who are physically disabled to have somewhere where they can self cater and take their carers with them, see some of the attractions in the village.

“The council have, quite rightly and naturally, tried to actually encourage tourism in the area, so it seems strange that they would turn it down.

“Because my wife was physically disabled, I have to say was because she died, we had great difficulty finding somewhere to go out and get away. I took her out as much as possible.”

He added: “Of course it’s got to be looked at commercially, but the real purpose is in my wife’s memory, and thoughts of the difficulties we had and trying to make it better for other people.

The project on land adjacent to Mr Knight’s house had vocal support from neighbours, with one writing that he would be ‘delighted’ to have the specialised holiday unit next to his property.

Designs for the two bedroom bungalow featured automatic doors and extra wide bedrooms to allow carers to help with zimmer frames and wheelchairs.

The delegated decision by planning officers said the site was in an ‘unsustainable’ location as visitors would have to travel there by car.

The notice continued that: “The fully glazed northern gable end results in light spill into the adjacent designated South Downs National Park.

“This light spill materially harms the tranquility and character of the area.”

Any appeal will be handled by the planning inspectorate.