Cheltenham Borough Council
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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Judith Baker, Planning Committee Co-ordinator 

Items
No. Item

143.

Apologies

Minutes:

Councillors Seacome and Hegenbarth.

 

144.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

17/00827/CACN 41 Church Road

Councillor Fisher – knows the applicant – will leave the Chamber.

 

145.

Declarations of independent site visits

Minutes:

Councillor Baker has visited the following sites:

-             17/00882/FUL 8-10 Bouncers Lane

-             17/00386/FUL 8 Hartley Close

-             17/00827/CACN 41 Church Road

 

146.

Public Questions

Minutes:

There were none.

 

147.

Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 129 KB

Minutes:

Resolved, that the minutes of the meeting held on 25th May 2017 be approved and signed as a correct record withoutcorrections

 

148.

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

149.

16/02205/FUL The Hayloft, The Reddings pdf icon PDF 165 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

 

 

Application Number:

16/02205/FUL

Location:

The Hayloft, The Reddings, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Retention of works carried out; including those under planning permission reference 14/02249/FUL as well as the removal and replacement of elements of the original Hayloft building not covered by planning permission reference 14/02249/FUL and minor alterations to the approved scheme.

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Refuse

Letters of Rep:

21

Update Report:

Additional representations

 

EP introduced this application, and explained some of its complex history:  permission for extension of the existing dwelling was granted in 2014, and subsequent work has been done which falls under permitted development rights.  Since work commenced, however, all that remained of the original dwelling has been demolished and new elements constructed without planning permission.  As this work was not lawfully executed, this application seeks to rectify the situation.  The resultant dwelling is the same size as that for which permission was granted in 2014, but with a side element, first floor addition, and fenestration amendments.  The 2014 consent cannot be implemented, as nothing remains of the original dwelling, but officers consider that what has been built does not cause any additional harm, with regard to design, neighbouring amenity, or impact on the openness of the green belt.  As such, the recommendation is to permit. 

 

 

Public Speaking:

Mr Peter Swales, neighbour, in objection

The Hayloft site has been subject to a raft of applications since 2005, two of which are relevant to the current one.  In 2012, Planning Committee gave permission for a replacement dwelling of contemporary design, approximately 4,000 square feet – similar to the original building.  Constructions started and it soon became apparent that what was being done bore no relation to the approved plans.  Work stopped, and in December 2014 a new application for extensions (part retrospective) was made, including a massive basement and ground floor extension to the rear, and major changes to the lay-out and orientation of the rest of the building.  This increased the overall size to approximately 7,000 square feet, but the application was approved by the planning department without going back to Planning Committee.  Construction started again, and it was soon clear that this building was not in accordance with approved plans; a stop notice was issued, and the current planning application was subsequently made. The proposed building is now over 8,000 square feet – a true monster – and totally inappropriate for an important site on the border of the green belt.  This alone is grounds to reject the proposal.  

 

In view of the previous devious manoeuvrings of the developer, it is hard to believe that this building is intended to be a single dwelling: the word ‘dwelling’ no longer appears in the title of the application; the rooms are labelled ‘dining room’. ‘drawing room’ etc, but this doesn’t appear to be genuine attempt to design a house of this size and status – it would not be marketable; the design and lay-out is more suited to 12 or 13 self-contained apartments.

 

The developer has  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

150.

17/00365/FUL The Water Garden, Birchley Road pdf icon PDF 247 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Application Number:

17/00364/FUL

Location:

The Water Garden, Birchley Road

Proposal:

Demolition of existing building and garage and replacement with two new detached dwellings

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

94

Update Report:

None

 

MJC introduced this application, to demolish a single dwelling, The Water Garden, and replace it with two houses.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor Babbage, due to the level of  interest.  The recommendation is to permit.

 

Public Speaking:

Mr Adrian Smith, on behalf of local residents, in objection

The application has been met with almost universal objection for several reasons.  Firstly, it will breach the terms of the Battledown Trust Deed, which divided the estate into large ‘lots’, restricting the number of houses to be built on each lot, for density purposes and to avoid overloading the Victorian sewers and roads.  This lot is already ‘full’.  Officers say this is not a material consideration, but residents believe it is – because if this application is granted, other properties may follow suit, resulting in many additional houses which will destroy the Estate’s semi-rural character.  This application is therefore contrary to Policies CP1 and CP3.  

 

Secondly, the application site is on a steep bend on a narrow road with no footpaths – an accident black spot.  Not only will heavy construction traffic and machinery be a great worry, but the resulting increase in occupancy of the site will result if permanent additional traffic on this dangerous stretch of road.  Highway officers have no objections, but the scheme relies on visibility splays on land not owned or controlled by the applicant.  The application doesn’t comply with the requirements of CP4b and TP1.

 

Thirdly, the brash, brutalist, four-storey design is not respectful of neighbouring properties, its ridge heights some two storeys higher than the properties to the north and south.  It is disproportionate, overbearing, and will result in a significant loss of outlook from his property, all contrary to CP7, GE3 and GE2.

 

To conclude, the development will be overbearing and inappropriately large; the highways risk will increase; the drainage system will be put under pressure, and consent could lead to the destruction of the Battledown estate as an asset to the town as a whole.  It is contrary to CP1, CP3, CP4b, TP1, CP7, GE3 and GE2.

 

Mrs Wendy Hopkins, agent, in support

There have been a substantial number of objections to this application, mostly relating to the Battledown covenant.  Some say it should be taken into consideration in the determination of the application but that is not correct.  As officers have made clear, a covenant is a legal matter between the Battledown Trustees and the applicant, not a ‘planning’ issue.  It may be in the interests of some to draw this legal issue into the planning process, but this could be seen as manipulating the planning process, which would be deemed unreasonable.  Knows and trusts that Members of the Planning Committee are able to distinguish material planning matters, and therefore relies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 150.

151.

17/00882/FUL 8 Bouncers Lane pdf icon PDF 181 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Application Number:

17/00882/FUL

Location:

8 Bouncers Lane, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Construction of single storey dwelling between 8-10 Bouncers Lane

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Refuse

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

31

Update Report:

None

 

EP introduced the application to build a single-storey dwelling between two semi-detached, two-storey properties on Bouncers Lane.  The area is characterised by semi-detached dwellings, making the proposal out of keeping, cramped, and contrary to the SPD on garden land, as outlined in the report.

 

Public Speaking:

Mr Justin Laurence, applicant, in support

Has taken all officer comments on board regarding the street scene, taking account of the location in the street.  The previous comments of the Architects’ Panel have been taken into consideration, and neighbours and parish council are fully supportive of the scheme.

 

Councillor Payne, in support

Has been asked to bring this application to Planning Committee because of a difference of opinion on the impact on the streetscape.  This is the third version of the scheme, with changes to the design requested by the planning officer.  The Architects’ Panel commented previously that the design was acceptable in principle – innocuous and acceptable - and supported the application. The second application was withdrawn, and the design further modified with the help of the planning officer. As noted by the office, Cheltenham cannot demonstrate a 5-year supply of building land, and the NPPF therefore promotes a presumption in favour of development unless the impact significantly and demonstrably outweighs the benefits. Regarding the impact, it is important to consider the setting: the report references Page 33 of the SPD, relating to the rhythm of the street scene, and in particular the 12 semi-detached houses on the west of Bouncer’s Lane, originally built with a clear pattern and separated by large gaps.  Now, however, five of the 12 dwellings have significant side and/or rear extensions, which although well-designed and constructed have obliterated the gaps.  There are over 100 dwellings in Bouncer’s Lane, demonstrating a wide range of sizes and styles, including single-storey dwellings, the WI Hall, Prestbury Hall, and most of St Mary’s School.

 

The officer report comments on the impact of the dwelling on neighbouring properties, referencing Policy CP4, but has never met an applicant who has taken the concerns of his neighbours to such length – has visited every neighbour who may be affected, none of whom have objected – the views of 31 neighbours should carry significant weight under the Localism Act.    There are no highways objections either. 

 

As a ward councillor, is passionate and protective of his ward, and has been critical of certain developments in the past, but has no hesitation in supporting this one.  There is no substantive evident to support the view that this development will have significant and demonstrable adverse impact on the neighbourhood. It is sustainable and well-designed, and demonstrably respects its setting. 

 

Member debate:

PB:  has sympathy with planning officers having to interpret applications in line with planning policy and guidelines; Members are more lucky and can take different  ...  view the full minutes text for item 151.

152.

17/00386/FUL 8 Hartley Close pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

17/00386/FUL

Location:

8 Hartley Close, Cheltenham

Proposal:

Two-storey side and rear extension and external remodelling

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

18

Update Report:

None

 

MJC introduced the application as above, with a recommendation to permit.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor Baker, in view of the concerns raised by neighbours.

 

Public Speaking:

Mr Malcolm Sheppard, neighbour, in objection

Thanked Members for visiting the site on Tuesday, explaining that the neighbours have no objection in principle to house extensions but are concerned at how this application accords with the integrity of the neighbourhood.  The planning officer states that it is ‘sustainable development’.  Neighbours would say that Hartley Close, built in the early ‘70s, is a fine example of ‘sustainable development’ and a ‘sustainable environment’ too.  Over the years, several properties have had additions, some substantial, but maintaining the original open qualities of the Close.  However, the prominent position of No. 8, the design and scale of the remodelling, will profoundly disrupt the character of the street scene, and be particularly overbearing on No. 10 next door.  The doubling of the western flank, north to south, with a new gable extending to the original house ridge, makes the wing the dominant component of the dwelling, rather than a subordinate addition, in breach of CP7.  That policy also requires windows to match the original in form and colour, which is plainly not the case here, on the street side elevations.  Amenity and environment will also be compromised, as set out in CP1.  There has been a limited retreat from the ambitions of the initial application and shifts in lay-out to the side, which have aggravated rather than complemented the relationship of the proposal with its surroundings.  Outlook is still significantly affected, and the design could become a catalyst for harmful future development.  Hartley Close residents consider themselves fortunate to live in a spacious, open environment, and wonder if it need this type of contemporary ‘fix’.  Urges the committee to withhold approval until the proposal marries more sympathetically to the scene.

 

Member debate:

PB:  congratulates officers on what they have achieved so far with this scheme – this original proposal was horrendous, and the current proposal is far more acceptable.  However, it is still out of keeping with the character of Hartley Close in scale, mass and design, in contravention of CP1.  Unlike the previous application considered tonight, where there was no opposition from neighbours, here there is.  Hartley Close is a special road, which has been carefully looked after and maintained over the years.  If not refused, would ask that the decision be deferred, to look at further reduction of the mass of the extension.  Is not comfortable with the proposal as it stands; it has come a long way but could still be better.

 

BF:  the speaker’s comments highlighted a constant theme of tonight’s applications – how properties fit in the street scene, and how needs and requirements change and evolve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 152.

153.

17/00759/FUL Cheltenham Cemetery and Crematorium - DEFERRED pdf icon PDF 363 KB

Minutes:

Application Number:

17/00759/FUL

Location:

Cheltenham Cemetery & Crematorium

 

DEFERRED

 

154.

17/00670/LBC Neptune's Fountain, Promenade pdf icon PDF 110 KB

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

17/00670/LBC

Location:

Neptune’s Fountain

Proposal:

Fitting of stainless steel clamps to coping and stainless steel skewers to horse’s head to prevent separation

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Grant

Committee Decision:

Grant

Letters of Rep:

0

Update Report:

None

 

AD introduced the application as above, explaining that the work is required to prevent the horse’s head from falling off.  The application is at Committee because the fountain is owned by the local authority.  The recommendation is to grant permission.

 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

None.

 

Vote on officer recommendation to grant

15 in support – unanimous

GRANT

 

155.

17/00920/LBC Cenotaph, Promenade pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

17/00920/LBC

Location:

Cenotaph, Promenade, Cheltenham

Proposal:

To renew 4 number lamps around the war memorial in the Promenade, Cheltenham, with new fabricated globe and cap fittings

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Delegate authority to officers

Committee Decision:

Delegate authority to officers

Letters of Rep:

0

Update Report:

None

 

MJC introduced the application as above, which builds on an application considered by Members a few months ago.  More information about what the lamps originally looked like has informed this application, and the recommendation is the delegate authority back to officers to issue the decision.  The reason for this is that consultation is still underway with the War Memorial Trust, and this needs to run its course before a decision is made. 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

CH:  answering his own question from a previous Planning Committee, confirmed that the lamps do work, and are not merely for ornament.

 

Vote on officer recommendation to grant

15 in support – unanimous

GRANT

 

 

 

156.

17/00827/CACN 41 Church Road, Swindon Village pdf icon PDF 131 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

 

Application Number:

17/00827/CACN

Location:

Fortune Cottage, 41 Church Road, Swindon Village

Proposal:

Fell 2 conifers adjacent to Church Road

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

TPO western tree by entrance; no objection to removal of eastern tree by car port

Committee Decision:

As above

Letters of Rep:

5

Update Report:

None

 

BF declared an interest in this application and left the Chamber during the debate.

 

CC introduced the application as above, at Planning Committee at the request of Councillor Clucas, in view of objections from neighbours.  Has no objection to the tree by the car port being removed, but would like to see the tree nearest the entrance retained. 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

MC:  likes trees, and unless there is a legitimate reason to remove them, they should be retained.  They shouldn’t be removed just because they don’t fit in with the owner’s wishes.  On site, it was mentioned that a new tree could be planted in place of the one which may be removed, though assumes this isn’t legally binding.

 

CC, in response:

-       Replacement of trees cannot be enforced, though the applicant probably will do this.

-       The first tree could be damaging the wall, though this can be remedied by removal of branches.

 

Vote on officer recommendation to TPO the western tree by the entrance, and raise no objection to the removal of the eastern tree by the car port

14 in support – unanimous

RECOMMENDATION CARRIED

 

157.

17/01097/CONF 30 Moorend Park Road pdf icon PDF 156 KB

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

17/01097/CONF

Location:

30 Moorend Park Road

Proposal:

Confirmation of TPO no 746 Wellingtonia to the rear of property and oak tree to the side of property

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Order is confirmed

Committee Decision:

Order is confirmed

Letters of Rep:

2

Update Report:

None

 

CC introduced the application, which has arisen from a pre-emptive TPO placed on these two trees several weeks ago, when one was about to be removed and the other was about to have inappropriate work carried out on it, with no protection.  A resident living nearby subsequently objected, saying the trees are too close to her property, drop needles and branches in her garden.   Has brought the application to Committee, for Members to decide whether or not the trees are worthy of TPOs.

 

 

Public Speaking:

None.

 

 

Member debate:

PT: on Planning View, the tree at the back was referred to as a Sequoia; in the report it is referred to as a Wellingtonia.  

 

PM:  the trees appear to be very old – 70-80 years – making them older than the bungalow.  Is that correct?

 

AL:  the neighbour has suggested that the tree is dropping branches, which is likely to dangerous.  Does the judgement on the health of the tree take account of this – does CC think it could be dangerous?

 

CC, in response:

-       To PT, apologies – Sequoia and Wellingtonia are one and the same;

-       In his 25-year experience, has never seen one of these trees fall over, though it’s true to say that they do occasionally drop branches, which can be unpredictable;

-       Would do something about it if it was considered dangerous; it appears to be safe, although the only way to make a tree completely safe is to chop it down;

-       To PM, the tree has been there much longer than the bungalow.

 

Vote on officer recommendation to confirm TPO No. 746

15 in support - unanimous

Order confirmed

 

 

 

The meeting ended at 8.30pm

 

158.

Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision

Minutes:

None.