RECOMMENDATION: That the Head of Development Management/the Planning Decisions Manager be authorised to Grantplanning permission subject to planning conditions.
1. The introduction by David Gittens, Planning Decisions Manager, clarifying the proposals and the site’s planning history.
2. This application relates to a planning proposal for: Two storey side and rear extension including roof extension and two front and three rear dormers, and relocation of front bay windows to existing House in Multiple Occupation to increase the accommodation from nine rooms with shared facilities plus one self-contained one bedroom flat to twenty one rooms over three floors with shared facilities at no 36 Holwhites Hill.
3. The proposal is to increase the quantity of accommodation. Currently the site provides accommodation for up to 20 residents. Proposal is to extend to provide accommodation for up to 37 residents
4. The facts in this case relate back to a decision of a Council to refuse planning permission for bulkier but relatively similar scheme at the site submitted in 2015 for:
· Two storey side extension, two storey rear extension and roof extension to existing House in Multiple Occupation to increase the accommodation from nine rooms with shared facilities plus one self-contained one bedroom flat to twenty one rooms over three floors with shared facilities
Planning permission was refused by the Council for:
ii) resulting in an over-intensive HMO use of the site.
ii) The overall size, bulk in particular in respect of the roof design would appear overly dominant, visually intrusive and out of keeping in the street scene.
iii) Over intensive use and density of development proposed, that would result in a level of activity, noise and general disturbance which will have detrimental impact on amenities of neighbouring residential occupiers.
iv) The proposed development fails to demonstrate adequate and safe access arrangements, adequate levels of parking provision, servicing and cycle parking arrangements commensurate with the more intensive use proposed, leading to an unacceptable parking demand on the local highway network and conditions prejudicial to the free flow and safety of traffic.
The applicants appealed against the Council’s decision.
5. Whilst the appeal was dismissed the Planning Inspector made it clear that they did not uphold the Council’s arguments in respect of:
i) PP was refused by the Council for being an over intensive overdevelopment of the site
ii) Over intensive use of the site for HMO purposes
iii) Poor access arrangements in relation to highways safety
6. However, the Inspector did uphold the Council’s concern in respect of the impact of the proposal upon the character and appearance of the area, in particular, concerns with regard to the scale and bulk of the roof design.
7. In 2017 a further planning application was made which sought to respond to the concerns that were raised by the Planning Inspector in respect of the roof design. This scheme was granted planning permission. This scheme is very similar to the scheme presently before Members. However, that permission has now expired, and the applicants are now seeking permission again.
8. So, in relation to the issues upon which we went to appeal from the 2015 scheme, the Inspector dismissed all the Council’s concerns except those that related to the roof design, its scale, bulk and prominence in the street scene. In 2017 the roof design issues were resolved and planning permission was granted for a scheme that is very similar to the one before Members tonight but has now expired.
9. In response to the concerns about the adequacy of consultation, a plan was shown which indicated all of the addresses that were directly notified of the proposed development by letter.
This amounted to 28 addresses, which is identical to the no of addresses notified of the 2017 application and one more address than notified in respect of the 2015 application.
The level of notification far exceeds the minimum standards required by the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) Order 2015 (as amended) and confirms that the Council has not under-consulted.
10. Some late correspondence had been received in respect of this application since the agenda was compiled, from a number of residences underlining the objections already stated in the report including from the following addresses:
Holtwhites Hill - 11, 16, 17, 35, 41, 49, 59
11. The deputation of Phil Ross, representing neighbouring residents.
12. The statement of Councillor Lindsay Rawlings, Town Ward Councillor, on behalf of local residents opposed to the proposal.
13. The response of Carolyn Apcar, Apcar Smith Planning (Agent).
14. The Committee agreed to a short extension of the meeting beyond 10pm.
15. Members’ debate, and questions responded to by the officers.
Discussion amongst Members suggested that:
· There was concern about the intensification of the use/parking problems/noise and disturbance .
· More information about the proposal was required
· New management was required for the building and maybe a condition to secure a management plan
· Wider consultation with local residents should be considered
16. The majority of the Committee did not support the officers’ recommendation: 1 vote for, 6 votes against, and 2 abstentions.
17. The proposal by Councillor Yusuf seconded by Councillor Rye and supported unanimously by the Committee that a decision on the application be deferred in respect of issues around noise and disturbance and the management of the HMO property – to be explored further with the Agent.
AGREED that the application be deferred.
Reason: potential impact of noise / disturbance on residential amenity and the need for a management plan