Wisbech businessman told ‘workplace’ home restriction cannot be lifted even though he closed his business in 2011

Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council - Credit: Archant

A 65 year-old businessman, who recently suffered a heart attack, has been told he has failed to provide “comprehensive evidence” to have a condition removed linking his home with his work.

Jack Elam obtained permission from Fenland Council is 2005 to build a three bedroomed house in Barton Road, Wisbech, but only as a ‘workplace’ home.

The restriction meant the only people who could live there were those “solely employed in connection” with adjoining offices and workshops.

His agent told Fenland Council Mr Elam had shut down his main electrical business in 2011, had found a “good demand” for letting out the buildings but now wants to be able to sell the house.

The council case worker who looked at the application rebutted the agent’s claim that the condition “is considered to be restrictive, unreasonable and has outlived its usefulness”.

In a report supported by the head of planning Graham Nourse, the case worker suggested that since Mr Elam closed his business four years ago “he may be in breach of the condition”. Since he lets out the buildings, however, he could still be considered to be employed in connection with the site.

The council believes it would be “reasonable” to request 12 months evidence that Mr Elam had marketed the property and units “at a fair market price. As this has not been provided, not does it appear to have been undertaken, no demonstrable evidence has been submitted to justify the removal of the condition.”

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Mr Nourse has accepted a report which concludes that “the thrust and objective of the 2005 application was clear”. Only a workplace place was likely to have been considered for the site in pure planning policy terms “and a restrictive occupancy condition would be pertinent to the planning decision”.