Agenda item

DM/20/01320/FPA - 25 West End Sedgefield Stockton On Tees

Two storey rear extension, bow window to front and replacement windows


The Committee considered a report of the Planning Officer with regards to an application for a two storey rear extension, bow window to front and replacement windows at 25 West End Sedgefield Stockton On Tees (for copy see file of minutes).


The Planning Team Leader gave a detailed presentation which included a site location plan, aerial photographs and photographs of the site.


Mrs Boyle addressed the Committee on behalf of herself and her husband, confirming that she had lived next door to the Applicants for 12 years and had been very good friends during that time.  She confirmed that the objection was not of a personal nature but to protect what they believed were important features of their property, which they had lived in for 18 years.


Mr and Mrs Boyle would not have objected to a single story extension on the existing footprint of the house, however in their opinion, the proposal put forward was large and would be over baring on what they perceived an already over developed property. 


Summarising the negative impacts, they believed the development would have on their property, Mrs Boyle confirmed that the new building would be visible above an ancient boundary wall in between the two properties and there was a risk of it collapsing due to the new foundations.  The rear courtyard would be impacted, which already suffered from damp due to the raised garden and there had been issues with damp from water runoff in their bathroom since the roof had been raised on the existing second floor extension.


Mrs Boyle also raised concerns with regards to the logistics of the build and the safety of their property as there was no entry to the rear and a mini digger would have to be craned over the roof of the house and 25 tonnes of earth removed and disposed of.


The Applicant, Mrs Nuttall, confirmed that a great deal of thought had gone into the planning and logistics of the project and much of the objections were unfounded.  The Architect had proposed that the extension would be rafted so instead of 10-15 feet of foundations, it would be 2 feet.


Mrs Nuttall confirmed that when purchasing the property, herself and her husband had identified several improvements, including to the conservatory, which despite recently spending £2.5k on it roof, was still leaking.  The courtyard was damp and unusable and there were steep steps leading to an elevated garden.  The house was fitted with an aged Saniflo and the bathroom shower leaked into the kitchen.


Mrs Nuttall continued that they wanted to build a modern living kitchen area on what was currently occupied by the conservatory.  The upstairs would be a small fourth bedroom serviced by a Jack and Jill bathroom, which kept the house as a four bedroom property to avoid over development, whilst improving it significantly. 


With regards to the issues raised by Mrs Boyle, she confirmed that the digger would be no more than 2 tonnes and she was informed that using a crane to access properties was a normal daily procedure, and a conveyer would be installed through the property to carry the earth to the front.


Councillor Tinsley asked for clarification on whether the first floor projection had been reduced over what was proposed, or what was existing and whether there would be any direct overlooking through windows into the property next door.  He also referred Mrs Boyle’s comments on the stability of the boundary wall and asked whether an engineer had assessed it and if there was any suggestion there could be a problem.


The Planning Team Leader confirmed that with regards to the first floor projection on the east elevation, the plans were originally going to extend all the way to the single level extension, but they had been cut back.  He confirmed that there were no windows on the side of the property and the window son the rear would not create any overlooking and he confirmed that he had discussed the boundary wall with a Building Control Officer who had confirmed that as long as the work was carried out properly by contractors, this would not be a problem. 


Cllr Maitland asked for clarity on shading and sunlight restrictions as per legislation and the Planning Team Leader confirmed that the development was not expected to cause any major issues and sunlight indicators confirmed that some additional shadowing would be created for an hour in the middle of the garden in the afternoon, but the existing building already created a shadow and was it was not significant enough to warrant a refusal.


Cllr Atkinson asked if sunlight indicator testing was done at a specific time of the day/year and the Planning Team Leader confirmed that the they were taken at two points in the year, usually in the summer when people would use their gardens.


The Chair understood that there was little or no difference to the shading to windows but Mrs Boyle had confirmed that she was unhappy with the deprivation of light to back garden and asked for the Planning Team Leader’s advice on what weight could be given to this.


The Planning Team Leader confirmed that they could consider the loss of light to back gardens and useable space throughout year but this point of the garden was not a courtyard area that would be used all of the time, it was a smaller area further into garden.


Councillor Jewell asked whether sufficient drainage installation would accommodate the water runoff and alleviate the damp and the Planning Team Leader confirmed that there were ways to deal with water runoff and the application would require Building Regulations approval, however this was not a planning issue.



The Chair confirmed that this could be described as a large extension but asked the planning team leader to clarify over development.  He replied that it was relative to the size of the site and this was a large house with an extensive garden.  Although it was a large build, within the context of the garden and remaining amenity space he would not describe it as over developed despite the arguments that it was dominant and overbearing.  The building had been extended already and the Applicants were working only 1m beyond the existing footprint. 


Councillor Jewell confirmed that in terms of planning legislation, the application complied, and conditions would mitigate certain aspects of the objections.  He did not think there were grounds to reject the application and moved the recommendation to approve.


With regards to planning balance, Councillor Tinsley confirmed that everyone who owned a property had a right to apply for permission to build.  In summary, he confirmed that the application included improvements to the front and rear of the property, there was no direct overlooking of private space which could an impact on amenity and no additional impact on the windows of the property, it would be built in accordance with building regulations, which could improve the damp and there would be no impact on the boundary wall.  It therefore came down to the issue of overshadowing into the garden space and he would listen to the remainder of the debate but was siding with approval of the application.


Councillor Richardson confirmed that this was a difficult application, referring to the but the site was in a conservation area and was affecting the neighbour’s amenity, he considered it over development and did not support the application.


Councillor Maitland confirmed that sometimes families were faced with a change in circumstances where they had had to move, or update properties and she supported the Officer’s recommendation to approve.


Councillor Tinsley seconded the recommendation to approve.


Councillor Blakey left the meeting and took no part in the decision.




That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions outlined in the report.

Supporting documents: