Agenda item

Application No.200753 - 2 Walnut Tree Close, Ruscombe, RG10 9PF

Recommendation: Conditional approval


Proposal: Householder application for the proposed erection of a single storey rear extension with 5no. rooflights including interior alterations and changes to fenestration, plus first floor front extension with 3no. rooflights


Applicant: Mr and Mrs D Kinnersley


The Committee received and reviewed a report, set out in agenda pages 185 to 200.


The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included the existing and proposed side elevation plans.


In line with the given deadlines, one public written submission was received for this item. This submissions was circulated to Members in advance, and noted on the evening. The submission as provided can be found below.


Anne Owen, agent, provided the following submission in support of the application. “The design of the renovations has been carefully considered and developed in keeping with the character of the existing buildings in the Close. The pre-application consultation with Wokingham Planning Department enabled us to establish an acceptable approach, in size and style. The Department’s preapplication report highlighted the unique nature of the corner plot, which is relatively secluded, minimizing impact on the street scene.


The corner plot is unique in the Close, being set back from the street scene. It does not set a precedent for future development of any other dwellings in the Close, because they are all sited closer to the roadway.

The extended house will have 5 bedrooms plus kitchen-diner, living room, playroom and study. This is reasonable and proportionate provision for a family home in the area.


The new roof design complements the existing building, using exactly the same form with a ridge height increase of only 1.9m – less than a full second storey.

The study window of Number 3 is already visible from the existing ground floor windows of the playroom at Number 2 and is the only window of a habitable room on this side of Number 3. The new first floor windows are positioned directly above the existing ground floor windows. The top sections of these windows are rooflights, set obliquely in relation to the neighbour’s windows. They follow the profile of the roof, being set at the same angle. This design reflects the character of the existing house and neighbouring buildings.


There is a distance of 13.1m between the extension and Number 3, exceeding the minimum recommendation of the Borough Design Guide. 


The single storey garage is retained, creating a step down in form from the first floor extension. There is a 15.8m visible gap to the next house from the first floor extension. It does not create additional enclosure.


The first floor extension meets all Building Research Establishment (BRE) guidelines on daylight provision, with 45 degree and 25 degree daylight lines shown correctly on the drawings.


 My clients fully appreciate the spacious and pleasant character of the Close and its community, which they enjoy. Their brief was to design a sympathetic extension in this context, to meet the needs of their growing family. We have enacted this with great care.”


Members were asked in turn for any comments or queries on this application. Specific comments or queries are summarised below.


Stephen Conway commented that separation distances complied with guidelines, and although sympathetic to neighbour concerns, there were no planning reasons for refusal. Stephen asked for clarification relating to overlooking of the neighbouring study. Baldeep Pulahi, case officer, stated that there was no perceived overlooking of the neighbouring study that would harm the use of the room. There was a distance of at least 13m from the proposed extension to the study, which was in excess of the required 10m front to front elevation separation distance. Justin Turvey, Operational Manager – Development Management, stated that any perceived overlooking was into the front garden space, which was already publically viewable.


Simon Weeks commented that if refused, this would go against the Council’s own residential design guide, which would result in a loss should the decision be appealed by the applicant.


Carl Doran commented that a site visit would have been useful, but it was fully understandable why one could not be conducted at this current time. Simon Weeks added that the case officer had provided many photos to enable Members to gauge the relationship between the neighbouring properties.


Abdul Loyes queried whether the neighbouring properties would experience daylight loss as a result of the proposals. Baldeep Pulahi stated that the proposals were setback 6.3m from the property boundary, and there was a compliant 45 degree line. As such, there was no anticipated loss of light for property number 3.


Simon Weeks commented that much of the discussions were focussed not on subjective issues, but whether distances met guidelines, which they appeared to in this case.


RESOLVED That application number 200753 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 186 to 187.

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