Recommendation: Conditional Approval
Andrew Mickleburgh declared a prejudicial interest in this item and took no part in the discussion or vote.
Proposal: Householder application for the proposed loft conversion to create habitable accommodation with rear dormer extension, hip to gable conversion and the installation of 2no. roof lights.
Applicant: Mr M Mand
The Committee considered a report about this application, set out in agenda pages 215 to 228.
The Committee were advised that there were no updates within the supplementary planning agenda.
Tim Marsh, ACER Residents’ Association, spoke in objection to the application. Tim stated that large dormers were appearing frequently in the locality, and all such dormers would have been refused if they were required to go for planning permission instead of permitted development. Tim stated that there was still a clear character in the area of having semi-detached hip-ended properties. Tim added that once a third storey was placed on top of the property with windows in this manner overlooking became an issue, as a traditional smaller dormer had its windows set much further back. Tim stated that the concern from residents was that overlooking would occur from looking directly down from the third floor of the property. Tim stated that CP3 made it clear that development should be appropriate for the area where it is located. The principles of the Borough Design Guide referred to CP3, stating that developments should respond appropriately to the existing character of the area and relate well to neighbours. Tim felt that these proposals did not comply with CP3 or the Borough Design Guide, and the application should be refused.
Shirley Boyt, Ward Member, spoke in objection to the application. Shirley stated that Chiltern Crescent was characterised by semi-detached properties with hip-ended roofs. The Borough Design Guide stated that developments should maintain the rhythm of the street scene, which these proposals would not in Shirley’s opinion. Shirley added that there were only two examples similar to the proposals in the area, which did nothing to enhance the street scene. Shirley felt that officers should look for exemplary examples of extensions rather than referring to poorly designed outliers. Shirley felt that a small partial hip joint would not impinge on the floor area and would only have a minor impact on the dormer, and should have been considered instead of the proposals.
Carl Doran queried what measurements were taken when assessing the dormer as subservient, queried how much of the development could be carried out under permitted development, and queried why examples of poorer design which were carried out under permitted development were being used as examples to promote this application. Benjamin Hindle, case officer, stated that the gross volume of the proposals were in keeping with permitted development and followed the Borough Design Guide advice. This application could have been carried out under permitted development, if not for a previously agreed planning application of which this application relied on part of that roof structure. Justin Turvey, Operational Manager – Development Management, stated that the Borough Design Guide was a guide, and there were legitimate circumstances to permit more than the guide allowed for. Justin added that if not for the previous side extension, this application could have been carried out under permitted development. Carl Doran felt that the views of the Town Council, local residents, and local Ward Members should be carefully considered when determining such applications.
Stephen Conway commented that there was a gradual erosion of the character of the area, and permitted development made it difficult to refuse planning applications which were of similar design to works carried out under permitted development rights.
RESOLVED That application number 210448 be approved, subject to conditions and informatives as set out in agenda pages 216 to 217.