Agenda item

DM/21/03843/FPA - 7 Rowan Drive, Brasside, Durham, DH1 5YE

Erection of part two storey/part single-storey extension at rear of dwelling.


The Principal Planning Officer 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 Principal Planning Officer advised that Members of the Committee had visited the site and were familiar with the location and setting. 


The application was for the erection of part two storey/part single-storey extension at rear of dwelling (amended application form) and was recommended for approval, subject to conditions.


The Chair thanked the Principal Planning Officer and asked William Reed, a neighbouring resident to speak as regards his objections to the application.


W Reed noted he felt the application did not meet the standards relating to the 45 degree rule and added that the proposals, including the tree, would block even more light, his garden not getting any sun from the west on an evening, resulting in his wife and himself being unable to sit in their garden.  He noted he did not object to the ground floor extension, rather the upper floor.  He added that the view from the other neighbour’s kitchen would be blocked and explained that he and Paul Watson, the other neighbour, were objecting to the application in terms of loss of privacy and blocking of natural light.  He noted no objection to the people, or the ground floor extension proposed, rather the upper floor and tree blocking light.


The Chair thanked W Reed and asked Grace Maddison, the Applicant, to speak in support of her application.


G Maddison noted her family’s circumstances, being a blended family with three dependent children, currently living across two households with two sets of costs.  She noted that it was not possible for her family to move and therefore the only option was to extend the property to create a stable environment for the children.  She explained that they had been legally required by the Council to originally apply for a double driveway as they were building a four bedroom home. She added that they were relieved when they were told that this would not be required as they understood the concern this would cause for their neighbours and was not something they would ever have asked for in the first place. 


G Maddison explained that they understood that the single storey extension would be allowable under permitted development and added that the second floor bedroom would not be visible from neighbours north-facing views.  She explained that Brasside was a safe and secure area with wonderful nature reserves and great links to schools and local amenities which was the ideal environment to raise young children in.  She added she had really enjoyed living within the village for the last four years, and that they hoped they would be given the opportunity to remain within the local community as a family, so that they could continue to contribute towards this fantastic area for years to come.


The Chair thanked G Maddison and asked the Committee for their comments and questions.


Councillor S Wilson asked for confirmation as regards separation distances and whether they were acceptable.  The Principal Planning Officer noted separation distances referred to facing elevations, and that in this case the only facing elevation was a domestic garage, therefore distances were in effect met.


Councillor S Wilson noted the ground floor extension would by itself be allowed under permitted development and noted he would be happy to propose approval of the application.


Councillor C Kay noted the issues raised as regards the 45 degree rule, noting the proposals fell short and asked at what point it became a material concern, adding he felt proposals either passed or failed on criteria and that there should not be grey areas.  The Principal Planning Officer noted it was a matter of judgement in terms of the impact of the second floor extension.  He noted the elevations shown highlighted the stepped construction and therefore it was for the committee to judge how much of an impact there would be in terms of light and overbearing noting there was already some level of impact from the existing stepped arrangement of the property.  He added that Officers had concluded there whilst there would be some impact, this would not be sufficiently adverse to sustain a refusal.


Councillor J Elmer noted it was a difficult one for Members, with the application just not meeting the 45 degree rule, however, the applicant had already compromised in terms of a reduced second floor, with the ground floor extension being permissible under permitted development rights.  He concluded that he agreed with the Officer’s recommendation and would second the approval of the application.


Upon a vote being taken it was:




That the application be APPROVED subject to the conditions as set out within the report.


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