Agenda item

DM/22/01509/FPA - Silver Howe, Heathways, High Shincliffe, Durham, DH1 2PQ

Demolition of existing bungalow and replacement with dormer bungalow.


The Senior Planning Officer, Lisa Morina (LM) 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 Senior Planning Officer (LM) advised that Members of the Committee had visited the site and were familiar with the location and setting.  The application was for the demolition of existing bungalow and replacement with dormer bungalow and was recommended for approval, subject to the conditions as set out in the report.  The Senior Planning Officer (LM) noted paragraphs 6-7 of the report should have referred to the road as unadopted, not unregistered.


The Chair thanked the Senior Planning Officer (LM) and asked R Ormerod, in his capacity as Clerk to Shincliffe Parish Council, to speak in respect of the application.


The Parish Clerk thanked the Chair and Committee and noted the objections were on the basis of highway safety, not the dwelling itself.  He noted the location of the application site, not far from the ‘perimeter road’ around the village of High Shincliffe, which did not have a footpath on either side of this road.  He noted the nearby primary school and use by pedestrians, dog walkers of this road.  He noted the walled garden currently not extending to the road, creating a refuge area for pedestrians, with the proposals meaning this area, incorporating unregistered land, would be lost.  The Parish Clerk explained that also the incorporation of the unregistered area would also impinge upon the views of drivers carry out manoeuvres and being unable to see due to the wall and railings.


The Chair thanked R Ormerod and asked Councillor D Stoker, Local Member, to speak in relation to the application.


Councillor D Stoker noted he echoed the comments made by Shincliffe Parish Council and would say that a high volume of cars drove along the road in question, often at speed, and reiterated that there was no footpath only an area of grass as mentioned. 

He noted the proposed wall at 750mm in height, together with 600mm railings on top of that, represented a visual barrier for neighbours driving in and out, as well as impacting on other road users once they pulled out on to the highway.  He noted that due to those safety concerns he felt the application was, in that sense, unrealistic.


The Chair thanked Councillor D Stoker and asked the Applicant, Andy Carter, to speak in support of his application.


A Carter explained he had lived for 48 years as a resident of High Shincliffe and therefore he had experience of walking the road, as described by the Parish Clerk and Local Member, on a daily basis, twice a day when walking his dog. 


He noted he had consulted with the neighbour in terms of safely exiting their drive, accordingly the application had been amended to reduce the height of the wall, and to use railings that could be seen through by the neighbour.  He added that the Council’s Highways Section had not objected to the proposals and therefore he would have thought the proposals were acceptable.  He noted there were other issues, outside of the application, that impacted upon highways safety, such as people travelling to High Shincliffe and then parking their cars for seven to eight hours.  He concluded by noting that the wall would in fact help with visibility.


The Senior Planning Officer confirmed the height of the wall at 750mm, with the railings being 600mm on top of that height.


Councillor J Quinn noted he had attended the site visit and there were two vehicles parked on the grassed area to the front of the site where the wall/railings would be erected.  He added he felt the applicant had done as much as they could do in relation to such issues and therefore he would be minded to move approval of the application as per the Officer’s recommendation.


Councillor J Elmer noted on the site visit a lady had been seen pushing a pram along the road, with no refuge and large van had passed her.  He noted that he too had no objection to the construction of the house, rather he would ask if there as an opportunity to retain an amount of the unregistered area for a pedestrian refuge, perhaps one metre.


Councillor C Marshall noted he had heard the Officer’s presentation and heard from speakers and felt that it was not for the applicant to deal with existing issues in relation to the highway, accordingly he seconded that the application be approved.


Councillor C Kay asked what had become of the lady with the pushchair, with Councillor J Elmer noting she had been required to squash up against the hedge with her pram.


Councillor A Bell noted the highways issues raised, however, the Council’s Highways Officers had been satisfied with the arrangements.  He asked if there was scope for the Parish Council to look at options, perhaps if the unregistered area had been taken into account.  He noted that was outside of the scope of the Committee and that he too would be supporting approval.


The Senior Planning Officer (LM) referred to plans and noted that there would still be a slight refuge area that would remain in the form of the recessed driveway entrance.



Upon a vote being taken it was:




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


Supporting documents: