A shipping container that cost £11,000 to make ready for Airbnb is ‘in keeping with the area’, its disgruntled owner has said – after councillors labelled it an ‘abomination’ and ‘truly hideous’.
Former RAF serviceman John Price, 50, has hit back at North Kesteven District Council after it rejected retrospective planning permission for his shipping container B&B located in Southgate, Sleaford, Lincolnshire.
Mr Price, who owns the Eat Drink Sleep B&B, which offers eight ground floor rooms in a converted pub, was hoping his shipping container plans would provide visitors to the market town a slightly more ‘high-end’ experience.
But planners earlier this week rubbished his plans, saying the unit ‘would not comprise an appropriate form of development in this location’ following a meeting in which the unit was labelled ‘ghastly’ and ‘horrible’.
Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Price said he’d spent £5,000 on the used shipping container, £5,000 on building materials and £1,000 on the astroturf outside. On top of that, he’d spent more than four weeks doing the unit up.
The corrugated metal unit was intended for use as two rooms complete with running water, electricity and drainage. But councillors labelled it an ‘abomination’ and ‘ghastly’
Mr Price, who owns the Eat Drink Sleep B&B, was hoping his shipping container plans would provide visitors to the market town a slightly more ‘high-end’ experience
Speaking to MailOnline, Mr Price said he’d spent £5,000 on the used shipping container, £5,000 on building materials and £1,000 on the astroturf outside. On top of that, he’d spent more than four weeks doing the unit up (pictured, the kitchen unit)
Mr Price spent £1,000 on astroturf outside the container, which he has also put a small seated area outside, the chairs still have their protective covering on
The container even has running water and a shower. Mr Price, is adamant that the container was ‘in keeping with the industrial nature of the area’ and said he intended to paint it and install a natural roof garden.
Mr Prince must now try to convince the council in a separate application or he could be forced to remove it entirely. Above you can see the doors he has put on the container
Mr Price (pictured left), who has owned the nearby Eat Drink Sleep B& B for five years with his wife Elaine, had long been thinking of something to do with the old beer garden. He has now been trying to get planning permission for his shipping container conversion (right, the outside area)
‘It’s not just the financial investment, it’s also the emotional one,’ he said. ‘We’ve spent four weeks doing the container up in the old beer garden which was just sitting unused for years.
‘Nearly all the materials inside have been recycled, including wood from an old boat that was about to be scrapped. We’ve also re-purposed a number of old items to use inside the container.’
Mr Price, is adamant that the container was ‘in keeping with the industrial nature of the area’ and said he intended to paint it and install a natural roof garden.
But now he must try to convince the council in a separate application or he could be forced to remove it entirely.
He said: ‘I first found out the application had been rejected from a Facebook post they made this morning calling it an “abomination”. It’s not very professional if you ask me.
‘In their decision notice, they’ve basically implied there’s nothing we can do to make it right and to allow us to continue using it. They’re suggesting we can’t even use it for storage.
‘But I’m going to appeal the decision and if that appeal fails I’ll just go to the next stage. I plan to fight it the whole way. We’ve had dozens of messages in support of the plans.’
Mr Price, who has owned the nearby Eat Drink Sleep B& B for five years with his wife Elaine, had long been thinking of something to do with the old beer garden nearby. He has previously submitted plans for a car wash, but these too were refused.
In documents submitted to the council to support his retrospective application, Mr Price had said: ‘We hope that the individual design of the accommodation along with the personal outside area will encourage more people to the Sleaford area.’
Mr Price has installed filament light bulbs in the living room of one of the pods. He hoped to make two pods in total within the shipping container, but his plans were earlier this week rubbished by the local council
A kitchen and lounge area was among the rooms inside the shipping container, which also included a fridge and kettle. Its owner said the unit was ‘in keeping with the industrial nature of the area’
The property was formerly listed on Airbnb according to planners, but it has no planning permission and new application is required (pictured, a bed and two chairs inside the container)
The container’s owner, Mr Price, says he plans to appeal the decision made by councillors earlier this week and will ‘fight it all the way’
The shipping container cost £5,000 without any work, but Mr Price spent another £5,000 doing it up. He claims he painted it blue, as that is a ‘conservation colour’
The corrugated metal box was intended for use as two rooms complete with running water, electricity and drainage.
But planners labelled it ’appalling, ghastly, horrible, truly hideous, an abomination and awful’ as it refused the application over concerns about its design and location.
In a post on its Facebook page, North Kesteven District Council said members of the planning sub-committee had been shocked by the supposed accommodation.
‘A planning committee last night refused a retrospective application for [the container] to be used behind EDS B&B
‘It was felt to be incongruous with a conservation area and harmful to the area and its listed buildings.
‘One side is already converted into a ‘pod’ with access cut into container wall, shower, toilet, seating, double bed etc.
‘Solar panels and outdoor area with artificial grass were planned to complete the set-up.’
The application was called in for scrutiny by councillor David Suiter.
The doorway to the shipping container at the Sleaford B&B. Councillors branded the unit an ‘abomination’ at a meeting on Tuesday evening
In a post on its Facebook page, North Kesteven District Council said members of the planning sub-committee had been shocked by the supposed accommodation (pictured, a kitchen area in one of the pods within the shipping container)
Astroturf has been put outside the shipping container, which is located in an old beer garden at the back of the B&B
A floor plan for one of the pods inside the shipping container, submitted by Mr Price with his retrospective planning application
A secondary pod contains plans for a toilet and shower alongside a natural wood container. There is also a large double bed and table within the container
Mr Price, who owns the container, took to Facebook this morning (above) to inform people he will be appealing the council decision. A number of people have commented on the news his shipping container was branded an ‘abomination’ (below)
‘Containers are increasingly being used as building materials,’ he said. ‘Some of them have received awards for their design and they can be built relatively quickly.
‘The application was basically a raw container that hadn’t been cladded and it was in a conservation area. It looked like something that would be more in keeping with an industrial site than in the centre of Sleaford.
‘I hope the applicant will consider taking on board all the advice the committee gave and come back with a new application.’
However, the decision did not go down well, with some people calling it ‘utter rubbish’.
One person wrote: ‘I’m sorry but utter rubbish, these pods are great, can’t believe that the council would stand in the way of much needed and well thought out accommodation, and the fact they’re recycled shipping containers is even better!
‘I hope this can be presented to the council again and they reconsider their decision.’
Another wrote: ‘I think it’s fab inside. They could always just paint the outside to help it blend in a little but maybe the idea is for it to stand out.’
Another person said they could see where the council was coming from, but thought it was a good use of the space.
‘To be fair all they really need to do is put in an order for it to be clad appropriately to fit the area,’ they wrote.
‘Would be a good idea if councils took note of what’s possible because if we did more of this then we could house the homeless very well and very cheaply.’