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Agenda and minutes

Contact: Judith Baker, Planning Committee Co-ordinator 

Items
No. Item

325.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillors Cooke, Fisher and Flynn.

326.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

18/01326/FUL Ashford Court Cottage

Cllr Barrell – is a member of SPJARA, the residents group which has objected to the application, but has not been involved in any planning discussions with that group.

 

18/01626/COU 29 Gloucester Road

Cllr Atherstone – is ward councillor for St Peter’s, where the application site is situated, but has had no involvement in this application.

 

327.

Declarations of independent site visits

Minutes:

 

 

Cllr Payne – visited all sites except 18/01646/FUL Blenheim Villa, which he visited when the previous application was considered in July.

 

Cllr Barrell – visited 18/01050/FUL 28 The Avenue, 18/01326/FUL Ashford Court Cottage, and 18/01403/FUL 8 Horsefair Street.  Also visited 18/01646/FUL Blenheim Villa in July.

 

328.

Public Questions

Minutes:

There were none.

 

329.

Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Minutes:

Resolved, that the minutes of the meeting held on 16th August 2018 be approved and signed as a correct record without corrections

 

330.

Planning/Listed Building/Conservation Area Consent/Advertisement Applications, Applications for Lawful Development Certificate and Tree related applications – see Main Schedule

331.

18/01050/FUL 28 The Avenue pdf icon PDF 163 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

With the agreement of members, the Chairman proposed altering the running order of the meeting, to allow applications with public speakers present to be considered first.

 

 

Application Number:

18/01050/FUL

Location:

28 The Avenue, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Proposed ground and first floor extensions and increase to existing roof height, together with remodelling and alterations to dwelling

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

2

Update Report:

i.              Report update

ii.            Additional representations

 

GD introduced the application as above, with a recommendation to approve for reasons set out in the report and report update.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor Baker.

 

 

Public Speaking:

Mr Harrison, neighbour in objection

The five main reasons for objection are set out in his letter.  Firstly, despite his property being directly overlooked, has not been consulted, nor has a site visit been made, contrary to recommendations in the NPPF.  Secondly, the first floor windows will give a grandstand view of his garden; two are 7.5m from the boundary – 10.5m is the prescribed minimum distance – and the overlooking, loss of privacy and visual intrusion will have an adverse effect on his amenity. Notes a condition precluding a potential balcony on grounds of CP4, but this could apply equally to upper floor to ceiling windows and door as to a balcony; this loss of amenity is contrary to National Sustainable Development Strategy, NPPF, JCS, Local Plan, and SPD for Residential Alterations and Extensions.  Thirdly, fully glazed gable three times the height  of the existing bungalow is  not subservient but will dominate,  contrary to the SPD.  Fourthly, modernist, fully-glazed gables are in marked contrast to the traditional forms and fenestrations of The Avenue, not tailored to the location. The scale, mass and form don’t respect the site and its surroundings, and thus is not in keeping with the JCS and Local Plan. Lastly, there is a shortage of single-storey accommodation in Cheltenham, for elderly and disabled, and this conversion would therefore be counter to the County Council’s ‘Understanding Cheltenham’ report and ‘Quality of Life’ objective of the NSDS.  Hopes that Members will apply clear, policy-led principles when making their decision, and respectfully requests that the application is refused.

 

 

Member debate:

PB:  asked for this application to come to Committee for a decision due to concerns about the potential impact on the bungalow next door.  Members will have seen this on site, and can make their own judgement.  The speaker lives in Charlton Park Gate, where the houses have staggeringly long gardens and views to the Cotswolds scarp – therefore struggles to take seriously the issue of overlooking.  It’s true that there isn’t the required 10m gap to the boundary, but there is at least 60m from window to window.  Cannot see that this will result in loss of amenity or privacy.  On Planning View, considered the impact on the neighbouring bungalow to be marginal.  There is a garden to the other side, so the proposal is not going to have any severe  ...  view the full minutes text for item 331.

332.

18/01326/FUL Ashford Court Cottage, 44 Ashford Road pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

18/01326/FUL

Location:

Ashford Court Cottage, 44 Ashford Road

Proposal:

Construction of first floor to existing bungalow

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

5

Update Report:

None

 

GD introduced the application as above, for a first-floor extension to an existing bungalow.  It is at Committee because of an objection from St Philip’s and St James’s Residents Association, and at the request of Ward Councillors Barrell and Harman due to neighbour concerns. 

 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

MC:  access to the property for construction work to take place isn’t brilliant.  What sort of wording would be used to make sure this is done safely and without damage, if the Committee is minded to permit?

 

DB:  is struggling to visualise this proposal.  There are two approved schemes for two houses in position at the moment – how do they all fit together?  Walking round the outside of the site, it appears that the developer is jamming a lot of houses into a small space.  They seem close together, and can imagine will have an overbearing impact on each other.  Neighbours are very concerned about the loss of outlook etc.  There have been some amendments to address any loss of privacy, but is not sure how these will relate to the other two houses which are yet to be built. 

 

JP:  isn’t usually enthusiastic about boxes on existing properties, but this is an exception.  The design is very useful, and provides reasonable accommodation – although the site itself is quite depressing and surrounded by other properties.  The developer realises there could be an issue with privacy and proposes obscure glass in a number of windows.  The site is relatively secluded – people will hardly know it’s there, set back and surrounded by trees.  As a result, the impact will be minimal on other residents.  Would like to support this scheme.

 

KH:  agrees with JP.  Used to live in a flat overlooking this property so knows the mix of buildings in the area.  The design seems sensitive to the site and will contribute more than what is currently there at the moment.  Congratulates the applicant on the proposal.  Appreciates neighbour concerns but not strongly enough to vote against the scheme.

 

GD, in response:

-       To MC, regarding damage to the highway, as with the application at 28 The Avenue, this is a householder application; can include a construction method statement to alleviate concerns if Members wish;

-       To DB, the application to the right hand side – ‘The Bungalow’ – is for demolition of the existing dwelling and construction of two detached dwellings.  This has been taken into account in consideration of this application.  The impact on that property is considered to be acceptable.

 

 

Vote on officer recommendation to permit

12 in support

0 in objection

1 abstention

PERMIT

 

333.

18/01332/COU Renault, Mackenzie Way pdf icon PDF 209 KB

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

18/01332/COU

Location:

Renault, Mackenzie Way, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Change of use to builders/roofers merchant and installation of steel palisade fencing and gates and external storage racking

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

0

Update Report:

None

 

VH introduced the application as above, to turn a vacant car showroom into a builders’ merchant, including the installation of steel fencing to the side and rear of the site.  There is an error in the officer report at Paragraph 6.11 – the proposed external racking will be 5m not 4m high on the western boundary, and 4m not 3m along Manor Road.  The scheme provides 17 car parking spaces to the front.  It is at Planning Committee as a result of an objection from the Parish Council.  The recommendation is to permit.

 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

PB:  is not opposed to this application, but has one or two observations.  On Planning View, wondered if a landscaping condition could be included – this is a prominent site, and some vegetation would be an enhancement and soften the impact of the fencing.  Also notes there is a 60mph speed limit on Manor Road – is concerned about the egress and exit of vehicles onto the road.  Again, no highways officer is present at the meeting to answer questions, but is there any possibility of adding double yellow lines along the whole length of the road down to the corner, to stop vehicles parking there, and on the verge.  It would be helpful to see if this can be addressed.  

 

JP:  supports PB’s comments.  Swindon Village Parish Council has complained for many years about parking on the verge in this area, and nothing has been done.  Double yellow lines and vegetation would help considerably.

 

VH, in response:

-       Regarding landscaping, has spoken to the agent and asked if the racking can be moved slightly closer to the building to allow for this.  The agent has stated that there is not room to do this;

-       Believes the speed limit to be 30mph on this part of the road;

-       Regarding HGV vehicles parking on the surrounding roads, the applicant has stated that these will deliver products and leave the site – they will not be parking in the area.

 

PB:  is concerned about cars parking on the roadside, not HGVs.

 

VH, in response:

-       The scheme provides 17 car parking spaces.

 

 

Vote on officer recommendation to permit

13 in support – unanimous

PERMIT

 

 

334.

18/01403/FUL 8 Horsefair Street pdf icon PDF 189 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

18/01403/FUL

Location:

8 Horsefair Street, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Alterations and extensions including the creation of first floor accommodation

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

2

Update Report:

None

 

JS introduced the application as above, to also include off-street parking to the front of the property.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor McCloskey, and the recommendation is to permit. 

 

 

Public Speaking:

Mrs Maguire, neighbour, in objection

Is representing the residents at 81 and 81a Cirencester Road, who strongly oppose the proposal.  The application is misleading in its description as ‘alterations and extension’ to an existing bungalow. This is not a modestly-scaled extension but a complete redevelopment of a bungalow to a two-storey house, with two times the floor space of the existing dwelling.  Secondly, the application has incorrectly titled elevations.   Thirdly, the application and report fail to acknowledge the 15m tree within falling distance only 6m from the proposed rear wall, and does not provide the required arboreal assessment.  This being the case, would question whether the application should have been validated.  Fourthly, under permitted development, the bungalow could have been extended by 4 metres and dormer windows could have been installed, but this would not have caused any invasion of privacy – so to compare the proposed works to permitted development is irrelevant.  The proposal is a total redevelopment, with the ridge height increased by 2 metres, and the roof pitch steeper by 10 degrees.  The officer suggests that the new roof height will be roughly the same as the dwellings on either side, but it will not – it will be considerably higher than both, and the plans do not take perspective into account.  Most importantly,  the proposal will result in significant invasion of privacy and loss of amenity,  due to severe overlooking from the two large windows, giving an intrusive, direct and uninterrupted view into the most private area of the gardens of both houses, and the living room of 81A.  The newly-built large extension at 81A isn’t shown on the plans – it is only 19.5m from the rear of the proposed house.  Respectfully requests that Members consider refusing permission, as the application contravenes planning policies: it fails the 21m separation rule in accordance with CP4, and contravenes JCS SD4 and SD14 and NPPF Paragraph 127.

 

Member debate:

PM: wanted this to come to planning committee to allow Members to stand in street and view the site , and also to be aware that what appear to be two buildings in the garden of the adjacent Cirencester Road are in fact a sunken patio with barbecue.  81A Cirencester Road is the bottom house on the drawing, and has a substantial recent extension is not shown on the plan.  Was also keen for this to come to committee because there is quite a large tree which isn’t getting much attention.  It is not TPO’d, but on the question of permitted development, if a 4m extension was allowed,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 334.

335.

18/01626/COU 29 Gloucester Road pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Minutes:

 

 

Application Number:

18/01626/COU

Location:

29 Gloucester Road, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Change of use of part of an existing storage building to create a new residential studio flat

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Refuse

Letters of Rep:

0

Update Report:

None

 

EP introduced the application as above, to create a small, self-contained unit in the curtilage of the main building.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor Willingham, who is concerned about the accommodation which will be provided.

 

 

Public Speaking:

Councillor Willingham, in objection

Is here to ask Members to refuse this application because he cares about the town and the ward he represents, and to demand better from planning. The town needs houses, but these should be c comfortable, well designed and good quality, not garages which were never designed to be homes. We need to demand better for our town.  Is surprised and saddened by the recommendation for approval.  This is a garage, and its loss and replacement with a dwelling will exacerbate the serious existing parking problems in the area.  It is also regrettable that the planning department has such contempt for the local streetscene that the highways officer’s requested condition to stop up the existing drop kerb has been dismissed. 

 

In policy terms, the proposal is deficient in many ways:  it violates Policy HS2 – the housing density is 120 dwellings per hectare where policy states  30-50 per hectare.  It is incompatible with HS3, as it will harm the area by increasing the concentration of subdivided dwellings. The site already has two dwellings and a shop - further sub-division will cause unacceptable harm and overcrowding, and not be compliant with Policy CP4 due to loss of amenity to adjoining land owners. Specifically, that policy requires a minimum of 12m separation between overlooking windows of residential development -  here it is less than 4m, giving insufficient privacy.

 

There are clear policy reasons to refuse, but we also need to think about living conditions for a potential resident.  It would be like Harry Potter, living in the cupboard under the stairs - cramped and dingy, with totally inadequate living space.  Paragraph 6.9 in the report states that Cheltenham has no  no standards for size of living space, but there is  DCLG guidance from 2015 which  sets the standard at 37sq metres for a single-bed, single-person dwelling.  This proposal is 20 sq metres, barely half the national guideline, and will be bad for the physical and mental wellbeing of any future occupier.  Allowing this proposal would set a dangerous precedent for the back lanes of Cheltenham, not just because of overcrowding, but because in London and other cities, these back-lane garage conversions are creating modern slums that house victims of human trafficking and modern slavery – out of sight and out of mind.  This is not what we want, and whether Members use their heart and head, this is a bad proposal.  They should demand better for Cheltenham and refuse the application.

 

 

Member debate:

JP:  agrees with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 335.

336.

18/01646/FUL Blenheim Villa, The Reddings pdf icon PDF 261 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Application Number:

18/01646/FUL

Location:

Blenheim Villa, The Reddings, Cheltenham

Proposal:

The erection of two dwellings, and formation of new vehicular access

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit subject to a 106 Obligation

Committee Decision:

Refuse

Letters of Rep:

44

Update Report:

Representation from Councillor Britter (in place of addressing the meeting)

 

VH reminded Members that a similar application for two dwellings at Blenheim Villa was rejected at July Planning Committee, on the grounds that it failed to provide safe and suitable access.  The current application is unchanged with regard to built form, design, layout and scale, but the access has increased from 4.1m to 5.2m, with a 1.2m wide footpath added to allow pedestrian access to each dwelling.  An S106 agreement to cover the long-term maintenance of the hedge has been agreed in draft, making provision for the developer to secure an S142 licence prior to occupation.  The application is at Committee at the request of Councillor Britter and The Reddings Residents Association. The recommendation is to permit, subject to the S106 agreement.

 

Public Speaking:

Mr Zwart, The Reddings Residents Association, in objection

There have been 47 objections from residents, and also from ward councillors, Up Hatherley Parish Council, and The Reddings Residents Association.  This new application does not address the safety concerns.  Paragraph 110 of the new NPPF states that priority should be given to pedestrian and cycle movements, creating places that are safe and secure, and respond to the  local character.  The  amount of hedge to be removed has been increased for the property owners, and the report glosses over traffic, safety, the dense hedge, the removal of protection policies and noise.  An S142 licence is intended for those wanting to cultivate a hedge, not destroy it.It also carries financial and legal responsibilities and a cost in maintaining £5m public liability insurance – none of these issues are addressed by the applicant, and the proposal is therefore in breach of the NPPF – control of the hedge is lost, worsening safety for pedestrians and cyclists.  

 

Is concerned as to how vehicles will turn into the development:  delivery vans will have the reverse into or out of the driveway – there is no room for them to turn. Drivers will approach at 40mph – sometimes in the dark – looking for the gap in the hedge, and other motorists will be not be expecting cars to turn in or out.  This is a busy pavement and cycleway, used by children and people in disability scooters.  The application itself states that the turning provision on site is only suitable for cars, not delivery vans or refuse vehicles.  If reversing off, the visibility splays are inadequate.  The RRA has a photographic record of a traffic accident on the roundabout. This proposal is unsafe, contrary to public and community interest, and must be refused. 

 

Mr Jones, Evans Jones Partnership, in support

This application seeks full planning permission for two dwellings, and is a re-submission of the scheme refused in July, with  ...  view the full minutes text for item 336.

337.

18/00934/LBC Municipal Offices, Promenade pdf icon PDF 215 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Savage left the meeting at this point.

 

 

Application Number:

18/00936/LBC

Location:

Municipal Offices, Cheltenham Borough Council, Promenade

Proposal:

Remove modern stud partitions to the Urban Room and Agile Area on ground floor (part retrospective)

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Grant

Committee Decision:

Grant

Letters of Rep:

0

Update Report:

None

 

EP introduced the application for listed building consent to remove two internal, modern, partition walls in the Municipal Officers.  The conservation officer is content with the proposal, and the application is at Committee because the building is council-owned.

 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

None.

 

 

Vote on officer recommendation to grant listed building consent

12 in support – unanimous

GRANT

 

 

 

 

The meeting ended at 7.45pm.

 

 

338.

Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision