To consider a report by the Head of Planning
Consideration was given by members to application 6/2019/0458 which sought planning permission for the erection of a single storey extension at 5 Brushwood Drive, Upton to project off the south east elevation of the dwelling. This extension would feature a pitched roof with a high level window on the south east facing gable end, together with two Velux windows on the north east facing roof slope. A small part of the proposed extension would feature a flat roof. As part of the submission, the applicants also proposed to enlarge the existing window on the first floor south east elevation of the host dwelling.
With the aid of a visual presentation officers explained what the main proposals and planning issues of the development were; how these were to
be achieved; what the reasoning for the extension was to the applicant and how this would be to their benefit. Plans and photographs provided an illustration of the location, dimensions and design of the extension, including how the windows would be accommodated and what ventilation they would provide; how it would look and its setting; showed the development’s relationship with the characteristics of neighbouring residential properties and the surrounding town development and landscape.
In making their assessment and appraisal of the application, officers had concluded that:-
· the principle of development was acceptable within the defined settlement boundary.
· the proposals were acceptable in terms of design and scale and impact on the amenity of the area.
· there was not considered to be any significant harm to neighbouring
residential amenity or privacy.
· there were no material considerations which would warrant refusal.
Formal consultation had generated a number of objections from neighbouring residents and, in light of these, the Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Council was now supporting those views, where it previously had no objection to make. Objections made were on the grounds of the seemingly close proximity of the extension to a neighbouring dwelling; how access to the window might well compromise privacy; how the excavation of the extension might affect the condition of the protected Silver Birch tree species in the neighbouring garden; and what precedent such an approval might set.
David Wallis considered that, whilst he was not opposing the principle of the extension, the proposed close proximity to his property was of considerable concern and would adversely affect his family’s access to natural light by the extension’s overbearing presence. He was of the view that existing planning conditions did not provide for such an extension as was now being proposed and asked the Committee to refuse it.
David Hiljemark considered that the officer’s recommendation should be endorsed by the Committee as it complied with all that was required in planning terms and on the basis of what the officer’s assessment and appraisal of the application was. He confirmed that the window’s glazing would be opaque and, given its restricted opened, there could be no opportunity for his neighbour’s property to be overlooked. On that basis he asked for the application to be approved.
As part of the debate, the Committee were then provided with the opportunity to ask questions of officer’s presentation and what weight could be given to the concerns raised by those objecting, with officer’s providing clarification in respect of the points raised, particularly in respect of the proposed proximity and the conditions governing the window’s installation. Officers were confident that they were largely able to dispel these concerns in that conditions complementing any grant of permission would mitigate for this. However, suggestions by members that there be consideration given to ensure the prevention of any further construction of an internal mezzanine level and that the windows be opaque, could be accommodated and were seen to be both reasonable and acceptable conditions.
One of the local Ward Members, Councillor Alex Brenton, was of the view that the close proximity and overbearing presence of the extension was a concern and was not in keeping with any other development in the vicinity. She also had concern that despite assurance the workings on the foundations would disturb the root system of the silver birch and, for both those reasons, felt she could not support this application.
Whilst some members were in agreement their view being that the application should be rejected owing to the close proximity to the neighbouring property and that the windows could compromise privacy, having had the opportunity to discuss the merits of the application, having understood what was being proposed and the reasoning for this; having taken into account the officer’s report and what they had heard at the meeting, the Committee were satisfied in their understanding of what the proposal was designed to address and, on that basis – and on being put to the vote – the Committee considered that the application should be approved, subject to the conditions set out in the officer’s report.
That planning permission be granted for application 6/2019/0458, subject to the conditions set out in paragraph 17 to the officer’s report and to the inclusion of conditions governing the prevention of any future internal mezzanine construction and the installation of opaque windows.
Reason for Decision
The proposed development was not considered to have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the area, protected trees, or the amenity of the neighbouring residents. Therefore the proposal was considered to be acceptable.