Raising of roof height and installation of dormer windows to create a two-storey dormer bungalow and garage, two storey extension to front and single storey orangery extension to rear.
The Principal Planning Officer, Graham Blakey, gave a detailed presentation on the report relating to the abovementioned planning application, a copy of which had been circulated (for copy see file of minutes). Members noted that the written report was supplemented by a visual presentation which included photographs of the site. The application was for the raising of roof height and installation of dormer windows to create a two-storey dormer bungalow and garage, two storey extension to front and single storey orangery
extension to rear and was recommended for approval, subject to conditions.
The Chair thanked the Officer and asked Dr Anton Lang representing Mr and Mrs Glass, neighbours to the property, to address the Committee in objection to the application.
Dr A Lang thanked the Chair and Committee and noted that it was professional opinion that application represented an overdevelopment of the plot and the scale of the extension, as illustrated by the elevations shown, did not suit the house, plot, or locality. He added that Members would have noted from the Case Officer’s report that there were seven objecting neighbours and that represent seven households, with only nine letters in consultation having been sent out. He noted seven objections from such an estate represented a lot of objection to the proposed development.
Dr A Lang explained that it was considered that the scheme was concerned with increasing the value of the property, rather than out of any particular or demonstrated need, else the applicant would have purchased a larger house. He noted that at paragraph 26 of the report, even the Case Officer appeared to be a little confused as it is stated that the development would not be a two storey property, however at paragraph 29 the resultant scheme would create a two storey property. Dr A Lang noted there had been amendments to the scheme, however, it was not felt that they had been enough for this property in this location. He added that the resultant property would look different from its neighbours and therefore impact upon the character of the locality. He noted that the report did note that some privacy minimums were met, however, those minimums did not reflect the character or grain of the locality as evident from the site location plan highlighting a more spacious feel. Dr A Lang noted windows proposed for the upper floors and therefore there would be impact in terms of neighbours looking across from the side where there was already built development.
Dr A Lang explained that it was not that there was no scope for extension to the property for enlargement, rather the scheme proposed was too much. He added it was not the end, the application could be refused, and the architect and applicant could come back with something smaller and more appropriate for the plot and house. He noted that, at page 5, bullet point 3 of the Case Officer’s report (page 61 of the agenda pack) he had drafted a refusal reason that would be defendable and reasonable. Dr A Lang concluded by noting he and his clients would ask that the Committee refuse the large scheme so that a more considered and reasonable one could be submitted later for planning consent.
The Chair thanked Dr A Lang representing and asked Mr A Jones, Applicant, to address the Committee in support of his application.
Mr A Jones thanked the Chair and Committee and noted that the property was an old property on a third of an acre plot, in need of updating to current standards. He added that the was only one bathroom at the property and he noted there was a need for a second bathroom due to medical requirements. He explained that there was no scope to add one to the property in its current form and he had no desire to move away from the property, having lived there a good while. He noted the property was smaller than other properties in the area and would remain smaller than those properties even after the proposed works. Mr A Jones noted the property would be lower in height than surrounding properties and added that a property under construction a few properties down from his, similar in that it was a bungalow with dormers, would be a full 65 cm higher than his property should the proposals be approved. Mr A Jones concluded by noting he would be happy to answer any questions Members may have.
The Chair thanked Mr A Jones and asked the Principal Planning Officer if he could respond to the issues raised by the speakers.
The Principal Planning Officer noted that it was unfortunate that Members were not able to have a site visit to fully understand the estate at Hamsterley Mill, with a large number of properties on the estate having applications for, or ongoing, renovation works. He added that there was a pattern emerging of older properties that required renovation, being beyond the lifespan in terms of materials, or with new owners wishing to establish their own design for their property.
He noted that the applicant had stated, one property had been approved for demolition and rebuild, and with a number of other works within the estate. The Principal Planning Officer noted that the Authority had been successful in defending against new additional properties within back gardens, so that the character of the development would be maintained. He added that in reference to amenity impacts, they had been assessed within the Officer’s report and while minimums, they did fall within the criteria set out in the Supplementary Planning Document and led to the conclusions as set out within the report.
The Chair thanked the Officer and asked the Committee for their comments and questions.
Councillor S Wilson noted that he fully understood the concerns raised, however, the application met the requirements of the NPPF. He noted that it was a judgement call in terms of what Members may not have had the chance to see, in terms of character. He noted he would listen to other Members’ comments, however, noted some weight should be given to the fact Councillor W Stelling had called-in the item, with his depth of knowledge about his local area.
Councillor J Blakey asked as regards the difference in height from existing compared to the proposals. The Principal Planning Officer referred Members to the elevations on the projection screen. He noted that the proposed ridgeline was a lot higher in order to achieve the internal headroom, the ridge being approximately an additional three metres in height. He noted the projection and bedroom window, and referred Members to the site location plan to show the relationship of the proposed property to the neighbouring property to the east. He added that Officers were of the opinion that the proposed ridge height increase could be accommodated and not have an adverse impact upon neighbouring properties.
Councillor J Blakey moved the Officer recommendation for approval, she was seconded by Councillor S Wilson.
Upon a vote being taken it was:
That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions as set out within the report.