Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

Hello, please sign in to your account. New customer? Creating a new account only takes moments.

find our main contact details and opening hours or find our location.

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Municipal Offices. View directions

Contact: Judith Baker, Planning Committee Co-ordinator 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

Minutes:

 

Cllr Seacome, Cllr Atherstone, Cllr Payne, Cllr Hay

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

 

19/01296/FUL 3 Wendover Gardens

Cllr Mason:   supports the residents opposing the proposal – will leave the Chamber during this debate

19/01141/FUL 2 Bethesda Street

Cllr Barrell:  – is ward councillor, lives in the area, and has attended events and activities atthe church, but has taken no public view and been advised that this constitutes no prejudicial interest.

Cllr Barnes:  is a friend of the objector.  Wil leave the Chamber during this debate; Cllr Baker will take the chair.

     19/01375/FUL 21 Canterbury Walk

Cllr Fisher:  lives in Canterbury Walk but does not know the applicant, so no prejudicial interest. 

 

3.

Declarations of independent site visits

Minutes:

 

Cllr Mason:  visited all the sites on Tuesday evening

Cllr Wheeler:  has looked at all on the sites on Google, and driven past 21 Canterbury Walk to get an idea of the scale.

 

4.

Public Questions

Minutes:

 

There were none.

5.

Minutes of last meeting pdf icon PDF 225 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 18th July 2019 were approved and signed as a true record.

 

6.

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

7.

19/01141/FUL 2 Bethesda Street pdf icon PDF 333 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Barnes left the Chamber; Cllr Baker took the chair.

Officer introduction

BH introduced the application as above.  It is situated in the central conservation area, and will have frontage to Chapel Lane, similar to No.1 Bethesda Street.  It is at Committee at the request of Councillor Harman, due to residents’ concern about over development, loss of amenity, access issues, and the impact on Bethesda Church Hall.  All of these issues have been considered, as set out in the report.  The recommendation is to permit.

David Terry, on behalf of Bethesda Church members and regular hall users, in objection

Two years ago, Bethesda spent £650k on refurbishment, to create a modern, community-serving church centre, which includes the large hall opposite the proposed dwelling.  On a  weekly basis, this is used, amongst other things, for two mum and toddler groups, a lunch club for the elderly, cubs, scouts, brownies, a dementia support group – adding up to approximately 500 people a week.  The hall has three large south-facing windows directly across to gap on Chapel Lane, and receives 90% of its natural light from those windows; there is one other small window in the hall.  For 150 years, the hall has had the benefit of daylight flooding in, but now that will be blocked by a building 10 feet away. This will have a detrimental effect on all users, as sunlight has many benefits, especially on the needy.  Strip lighting is not used all the time in the hall, only when needed.  In addition, while the existing buildings only slightly overlook the hall, the windows of the proposed dwelling will directly overlook it, giving rise to safeguarding concerns.  The report states that the proposal won’t cause unacceptable loss of light, but would respectfully disagree with this, and question whether it is based on the experience of standing inside the hall and looking out.  Understands that the law doesn’t give the right to light, but would suggest that a 150-year-old listed building serving as a vibrant, modern community centre deserves some right to light.  Church members and hall users are very concerned, and ask Planning Committee members to reject the application.

Public Speaking

Mr Otter, applicant, in support

Moved to 2 Bethesda Street two years ago with his partner, with the intention to make it into a family home.  This work is now complete, but the parking space to the rear is used as a parking space for other people, by dogs, and for other anti-social behaviour.  One solution would be to build a wall to alleviate the problem, but would rather do more.  Parking is not an issue in the area – it is residents’ parking only, and there are two big car parks nearby which are cheap by day and free at night.  There are concerns that the new dwelling will overlook the church hall, but it is not true to say that the existing houses on Chapel Lane and Bethesda Street don’t already have windows overlooking the hall –  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

19/01230/FUL 151 Old Bath Road pdf icon PDF 281 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Barnes back in Chair.

 

 

 

6b. 19/01230/FUL 151 Old Bath Road

BH introduced the application, seeking planning permission for a detached single garage to the front of the property.  Councillor Sudbury asked for a Committee decision, as she is concerned for highway safety and about the impact the garage will have on the character of the area.

Public Speaking

Cllr Sudbury was unable to attend the meeting to speak on traffic implications of the application, but had submitted comments for Members to read.

Member Debate

SC:  Cllr Sudbury makes good points  - hadn’t appreciated how difficult it might be to get in and out of the garage and into road.  In a different application in Leckhampton, where there was a similar issue,  the applicant provided a sweep view to show how to get in and out safely.  Here, the residents may have to reverse into the road, on a bend, with trees obscuring the view and traffic travelling at 30mph.  Is there evidence of a sweep view or analysis to confirm it will be safe to get in and out without having to reverse into the road?

CM:  notes the tree officer’s comments and condition to protect the tree roots during construction work, but has seen this sort of condition in writing many times – does anyone go back and check that it’s been done properly?  Can a condition be included to require an enforcement officer to visit the site once the groundwork has been started, to provide reassurance that tree has been protected?

SW: looking at the paperwork, can see these are big houses with big frontages.    Currently the owner can drive in and park with or without a garage.  Shares SC’s concerns, and would add that technically it would be illegal to reverse onto the road.  Would like to see something in a drawing to show the sweep and turning point, making it quite clear that a car can reverse into garage and come out forwards.  It needs to be made clear to the applicant that reversing onto the road is criminal and stupid – this is a very fast stretch of road. Provided that the applicant drives out forwards, there is no problem as the residents could park there with or without a garage building.

PM:  having seen the garage, cannot think it would be possible to drive straight into, and if  driving in off the road, it would be very difficult to reverse into the garage without taking the gate post off.  Would also welcome schematics to show how it will work.  Noted more than one car at the property on planning view, including one very large one. 

BF:  the highway code is advisory – it is not a criminal offence to back onto the main road.  If the owners want to build a garage, we need to check it complies with planning rules and that that they want it to put their car away at night – garages are not always used for cars.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

19/01237/FUL 1 Hamilton Street pdf icon PDF 380 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6c.  19/01237/FUL 1 Hamilton Street

MP introduced the application for a new single-storey, one-bedroomed  dwelling at 1 Hamilton Street, situated just outside but adjacent to the conservation area and opposite a GII-listed building.   It is sustainably located in the area.  The application is at Planning Committee because of parish council objection, and a number of objections from local residents.  These have been taken into account, but when considered against local and national planning policy, the recommendation to permit.

Public Speaking

Mr Munro, on behalf of neighbours, in objection

Neighbours are strongly opposed to the splitting of this site for any kind of dwelling.  Members will have read their letters and visited the site, and the key points can be summarised as follows:  the sole purpose of the application is to build a house and sell it as a separate dwelling, and as such it will become part of the conservation area and should be treated as such; the site is too obtrusive and constrained for a new dwelling – it was designed as a garden, to protect Cudnall Street and match the open plan of the junction.  Building here will breach the building line which has been retained by architects and planners for all infill development in Cudnall Street until now, protecting the unique period mix that defines the area and merits its conservation area status.  Its poor design will not enhance Cudnall Street or Hamilton Street – it looks like a shipping container and could not be in less sympathy with the period properties around it; it will disrupt the views of one of the finest Elizabethan houses in Cheltenham as well as other period properties in Cudnall Street.  All these objections are fully supported by the Parish Council, which has unanimously rejected all three proposals at this site.  In addition to the above, the proposal does not conform with relevant planning frameworks and serves no wider social purpose.  Urges Members to reject the proposal.

Member debate

CM:  looking at the design of the building, and the requirement that new building makes a positive contribution to an area, considers this to be the wrong design for the area and completely out of character.  Will not support the application.

PB:  has serious concerns about the application.  Looked at it again today to refresh his memory of the frontages, noting that no houses currently stick out – all respect building line, and if a precedent is set, there could be opportunities for similar proposals along Cudnall Street.  Struggles to see why this site is outside the Cudnall Street conservation area when it is so very near and development on the site will impact significantly.  The architects say that the site is a mess now and this proposal will tidy it up – but they don’t need to build this house to make it acceptable.  Cannot support the design or location, and it is wrong to say it has the support and endorsement of the Civic Society and Architects’ Panel.  Members need  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

19/01296/FUL 3 Wendover Gardens pdf icon PDF 285 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Mason left the Chamber.

 

6d.  19/01296/FUL 3 Wendover Gardens

MP introduced the application for a replacement dwelling, situated in Wendover Gardens, a cul-de-sac off Christ Church Road, in the central conservation area.  Planning permission for remodelling and extension of the existing house was granted in 2016 – this is extant and a material consideration.  During the course of the application, revised plans have been submitted, including a  reduction of the first-floor balcony.  The application at Committee at the request of Councillor Mason, on behalf of local residents.  The recommendation is to permit, subject to conditions. 

Public Speaking

Mr Ireland, neighbour, in objection
Represents seven neighbours, all of whom consider the proposal is too large a building for the plot  These concerns are shared by the Civic Society. Neighbours welcome the planning officer report  - the reduction in the size of the balcony, and the conditions, should the application be permitted.  Neighbours have three main worries:  the proposal will reduce the distance between the dwelling and the boundary fence, bringing it right up to the fence, 2.5m closer than previously.  It will be 3m high, so clearly visible above the garden fence, dominating the neighbours’ view and changing the character of their garden – the owners are very upset.

The first floor windows are higher than those previously approved though this was not initially clear The applicant says they are 60cm higher, which might not seem much but will allow a less obstructed view into gardens, as well as making people inside more visible.  These are two bathroom windows and  loss of privacy is a concern.

The bedroom balcony has a sightline directly into the main bedroom of the neighbours, and these residents are worried about overlooking. 

Neighbours are very worried about these three aspects, all of which could be addressed in ways that won’t affect amenity:  the rear corner edge of new dwelling could be maintained, the height of the first floor windows reduced – as in the previous plans profile – and the main bedroom balcony reduced to a Juliet balcony or taken away altogether.  These minor changes will help maintain current levels of privacy and amenity.

Member debate

PM:  just a quick question on the subject of windows – has floor of bedrooms gone up or are windows getting taller?

SC:  the difficulty with this is that the red outline of the previously accepted plan shows that the elevation and footprint is not much different. Considers the building to be too large for the plot but it is not hugely different from what is already approved.  In the report, there is a comment about a covenant requiring that development should be agreed by all neighbours.  Has sympathy with this, but there is no basis for it in planning law and it can’t be taken into consideration.

DB:  hadn’t realised all neighbour concerns about overlooking – can officers confirm that is has been considered?

MP, in response: 

-       to PM, floor levels and sill height are the same  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

19/01298/FUL 26 Hatherley Court Road pdf icon PDF 219 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

Cllr Hobley leaves

Cllr Mason back

6e.  19/01298/FUL 6 Hatherley Court Road

CD introduced the application, to extend a 2-storey detached house into the central conservation area.   The proposal is to remove the conservatory, and construct front and rear extensions, and a loft conversion.  It is at Committee at the request of Cllrs Barrell and Harman, and the recommendation is to permit.

Public Speaking

Mr Seymour, agent, in support

Is speaking on behalf of the applicants to support the officer recommendation to permit. Determination centres on two main issues:  the design of the extension and how it affects the conservation area, and the impact on neighbours.  These four houses were built in the 1990s, are not historic, and therefore contribute less to the character and nature of the conservation area;  the other side of Hatherley Court Road is not in the conservation area.  The house is set back, and the proposals to the rear of the property will have limited visibility, protected by trees and hedges, which screen views from Court Gardens and the flats in Hatherley Court.  Even if it were more visible, it is only a 2.3m projection from the original house, typical in size of similar extensions, and subservient to the main house.  It is simple and modern in design, and will match the existing dwelling.   The changes to the front of the house will be more visible, but as the officer report sets out at paragraph 6.9, will have no significant impact on the street scene, and give the house a greater symmetry.

Of the neighbouring properties,  27 Hatherley Court Road is the only one to be affected; the Hatherley Court  flats are 40m away,  at an angle and with mature hedges in between.  The case officer does not consider the proposal will have any impact on these properties.  The roof terrace has been removed from the plans, so is no longer an issue.  The applicant has worked in collaboration with the case officer to work out extensions appropriate to this type of house in a conservation area, without causing any harm to neighbouring residential amenity.  Hopes that Members will vote in favour and permit the scheme.

Cllr Harman, in objection

There have been several objections from Hatherley Court Road residents who do not agree with the view that this proposal will not have a significant impact.  No. 23 considers it to be excessive, almost doubling the size of the existing house, which cannot be regarded as subservient.    No. 25 states that the houses were originally planned carefully in respect of their relationship to Hatherley Court itself, and this extension will make No. 26 stand out awkwardly.  A letter from Foxley Tagg on behalf of No. 27 states that the extensions are much too large and will have an adverse impact on No. 27.  The proposal fails to respect the character and scale, and causes unacceptable harm to dwelling itself, the conservation area, and the adjacent heritage asset.

Member debate

MC:  on site visit, thought the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11.

12.

19/01375/FUL 21 Canterbury Walk pdf icon PDF 223 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

6f.  19/01375/FUL 21 Canterbury Walk

DO introduced the application, as the case  officer is on leave.  The proposal is a 2-storey side and single-storey rear extension, similar to many others in the area. There has been one objection from the immediate neighbour, and the parish council has requested a Committee decision.  Regarding the impact on No 23 and loss of light, there will be some impact on a secondary window, but the rooms in question have primary windows; according to the  Local Plan, the proposal will cause no no unacceptable harm on neighbouring amenity, and the recommendation is therefore to approve. 

Public speaking

Mrs Hughes, applicant, in support

Has lived at 21 Canterbury Walk with her husband and two children since 2012, and now wants to improve the house for better family life and to allow the children separate bedrooms.  The family enjoys living in Warden Hill and wants to stay in the house long-term.  They understand their neighbour’s objection, but this is only to part of the application – the loss of amenity through a reduction in available light.  The careful analysis of the case officer demonstrates that this is not as great as may be thought, and not of a level to be a basis for rejecting the application.  There will still be a distance of 2.4m between the neighbour’s side windows and the exterior wall of No. 21, which would not result in a very substantial loss of light to the neighbour’s living room and office because the side windows of these rooms are not the main source of light.  Planning permission wouldn’t be needed to build a single storey extension with a pitched roof along the boundary with No. 23, that would arguably have a similar effect on the available light.  There is concern about a precedent being set that would be detrimental to the whole neighbourhood, but there have been no such concerns raised from other residents who have been consulted.  Has submitted a number of photographs of similar two-storey extensions in the local area, which would suggest there would be no detrimental precedent set by this particular proposal.  Thanks Members for their consideration, and hopes they will permit the application in accordance with the officer’s clear recommendation.

Member debate

MC:  knows the area well, having been born and raised nearby, and commends the applicant on her research.  It is hard not to notice around the area that lots of similar properties have similar and  even larger extensions than this.  This house only has two bedrooms, and to be a family home it needs a third bedroom.  Has no problem at all with this application, and is sorry the neighbour has objected.

TO:  also has no problem with the principle of extending, but the issue is that the design of these sets of houses along Canterbury Walk has the front doors on the side. All the examples of similar extensions in the area have their front doors at the front.  The effect of this on  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12.

13.

Appeals Update pdf icon PDF 414 KB

An update from the Head of Planning on Planning Appeals lodged.

Minutes:

DO updated Members on appeals received and decided since the previous meeting.

14.

Any other items the Chairman determines urgent and requires a decision

Minutes:

There were none.

 

 

 

The meeting ended at 8.25pm.