Recommendation: Conditional approval
Proposal: Householder application for the proposed erection of a first floor
side extension and part two storey part single storey rear extension, plus conversion of the garage to habitable accommodation and changes to fenestration
Applicant: Amandeep Garcha
The Committee received and reviewed a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 107 to 124.
The Committee were advised that the Members’ Update included clarification that the revised plans were received on 9th February, and then re-advertised on 10th February.
Jenny Cheng, Woodley Town Council, spoke in objection to the application. Jenny stated that when Woodley Town Council first saw the planning application for this large extension, their reaction was that it was huge and it would change the street scene and make number 33 Cottesmore Road appear very different to other properties. Jenny added that the first version of this application had the first and second storeys extend to the boundary, creating a terracing effect. Jenny stated that the current application had not done enough to mitigate the issues caused by the extension. Jenny felt that there was insufficient parking provision considering the proposed 5 bedrooms within the extended house, whilst it would be impossible for three cars to come off of the road at the same time to park as there was a wall in the way which was not proposed to be demolished as part of this planning application. Jenny added that the extension would cause loss of light for neighbouring properties, and urged the Committee to refuse the application.
Barry Morfett, on behalf of a neighbour, spoke in objection to the application. Barry stated that he was speaking on behalf of one of the owners of a neighbouring property, Mrs Jane Plank. Barry stated that he and Mrs Plank would like to support the reasons for refusal as outlined by Woodley Town Council. In addition, the proposed extension would cause a significant loss of light to Mrs Plank’s first floor landing window and rear garden. The loss of light would require a house light to be on when using the first floor landing, which was not the case at present. When the properties were originally built, those with rear gardens were designed to ensure that they had a significant amount of natural light. Barry stated that the Borough Council’s own planning guidance cited loss of light as a reason to refuse. Should this application be approved, it would ruin 25 years of careful gardening by Mrs Plank, and prevent future plantings. Should the application be approved, Mrs Plank requests that the side extension element be restricted to ground floor only. Barry concluded by stating that other concerns relating to inadequacy of parking provision, overdevelopment and terracing remained.
Simon Weeks sought clarification as to whether the proposals met parking standards. Roger Johnson, Senior Assistant Engineer – Highways, stated that the proposals would meet parking standards, and officers have asked for an extended dropped kerb allowing for each car to access its own parking space without the need to move other cars. Mark Croucher, case officer, confirmed that planning permission was not required to remove the wall in front of the driveway.
Simon Weeks sought clarification regarding the loss of light to the neighbouring first floor landing window. Mark Croucher stated that officers had conducted the 45 degree test, and found that the proposals would not breach this for habitable windows. Mark added that the two storey element of the proposals had been moved back from the boundary by 1 metre. Mark stated that from the existing neighbouring garage, the extension would extend approximately 2.2 metres beyond that which was fairly modest, which was considered acceptable and met the tests within the Borough Design Guide. Mark clarified that the landing window area would not be classed as a habitable room, and the loss of light to the garden would primarily occur in the morning hours.
Simon Weeks queried whether the applicant could use permitted development rights to develop a single storey rear extension which was significantly larger than the proposed extension of 2.2 metres. Mark Croucher stated that the applicant could develop a single storey extension of 3 metres under permitted development.
Angus Ross queried why there was no landscaping requirement for this application. Mark Croucher stated that some landscaping had been removed at the front of the property under permitted development. The front of the property had a drainage system, which meant that any hard surfacing would meet the drainage requirements. Where the proposals were in situ, and were lawful, landscaping requirements could not be imposed.
Malcolm Richards queried whether there was a percentage limit on extensions in urban areas. Mark Croucher stated that there was no percentage limit on extension increases in residential areas, and each application was based on the merits of how the proposals would impact neighbours and the appearance of the proposals.
RESOLVED That application number 210022 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 108 to 109.