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Agenda item

18/02297/FUL 59 Cirencester Road

Minutes:

 

Application Number:

18/02297/FUL

Location:

59 Cirencester Road

Proposal:

Replacement dwelling

View:

Yes

Officer Recommendation:

Permit

Committee Decision:

Permit

Letters of Rep:

5

Update Report:

None

 

Councillor McCloskey left the Chamber for the duration of this item

 

Officer introduction

JS introduced the application as above, at Committee at the request of Councillor McCloskey.  The recommendation is to permit, in line with the reasons set out in the officer report. 

 

Public speaking

Mr May, in objection      

Is speaking on behalf of his sister, who lives next door.  On Planning View, Members will have seen the Rear terrace behind No. 57, which enjoys a special open aspect, making it an important part of the residential amenity of No. 57.  Information provided by the applicant’s agent earlier this week states that there will be no problems re. loss of direct sunlight, but  the proposed two-storey house would protrude the full length of the terrace and the roof apex would be 7 metres above terrace level.  The real issue will be its unneighbourly, overbearing impact on the terrace. In 1995, Planning Committee refused permission for a two-storey extension to the rear of No. 59, which would have been 300mm lower than the building now proposed. It will be most hurtful and irrational if the Committee were now to grant permission for this overbearing development, when planning policies haven’t materially changed since 1995.  The overbearing effect is unneighbourly, and contrary to policies. 

 

Members will also have noted that there will be a loss of daylight to the dining room, which should be assessed in planning terms, using the 25o rule, as the proposed building directly faces the window.  The dining room is already shaded by the existing house, but the large box dormer proposed on the norther side of the house would further reduce this daylight, causing further unacceptable loss of daylight detrimental to residential amenity and contrary to policies.  

Also objects to the prolonged noise and vibration nuisance for 5-7 weeks whilst installing auger piling now proposed to a depth of 5 metres on the site boundaries, and further noise when excavating the large pit to contain the foundations of the house.

Urges Members to be consistent in their decision-making and refuse permission for this overbearing, unneighbourly development.

Mr Northup, on behalf of the applicant, in support

Is speaking as son-in-law of applicant, having moved with his family into No 59 at Christmas 2016 to support his mother-in-law who has lived there for 43 years.  Has approached the need to update with sensitivity and fondness, as long-term and active residents of Charlton Kings. Built a garden annexe in 2016 as the start of the process, and it is now time to upgrade the main property and bring it up to the standards of the eco-annexe.  Has a large family, is part of a wider local family which visits frequently, and also needs home offices as both he and his wife work from home.  Have explored all options adapting and modernising the existing property, but these have thrown up many issues, the main one being the need to underpin the whole property in order to adapt it, though there are many other issues. 

Have finally concluded that the demolish and rebuild would be the far less disruptive and quickest route for everyone concerned,  aiming to drastically cut the build time and complete in 9 months rather than multiple phases of work over 18 months.  The proposal maximises the elevated position at the front of the site, adding a lower ground floor as a discreet option for additional accommodation.  Will not use steel sheet piling, but more the more costly and considerate auger piling.  Want to create a home fit for purpose in the long term, where possible exceeding building regs and ecological requirements, aiming for a Code 5 ecological build. 

A new-build house will mean a different internal layout in view of the neighbour’s large overlooking dormer, and that the children will not need to share reception rooms as bedrooms.  The design reflects the existing property and the row of similar houses, matches closely the footprint of the existing house, and maintains the visual appearance from the streetscene.  It ensures no overlooking of the neighbours.  It is a new, very different scheme from the one proposed 25 years ago, with better access, more floor space, warm, bright, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.  It will use state of the art technologies and materials to ensure the best possible results for the family, the neighbours, the wider area, and the neighbours.

JS:

-          Forgot to mention in the introduction that there is an error in Paragraph 6.10 in the report – the replacement dwelling is in fact 450mm higher than the existing, not 300mm.  The recommendation remains unchanged.

 

 

Member debate

DB:  can officers clarify the height of the building in relation to other buildings?  Thinks she has read that there has been a change in planning regulations since the 1995 refusal, regarding the line of the back of the houses.  Can officers clarify?

PB:  to DB, this is discussed at Paragraph 6.17 on the report – there have been changes to policy since that refusal; policies evolve over time.  Congratulates both speakers on their presentations; it is particularly difficult to make a decision on this, when hearing both sides.  Viewed the application site on Planning View, and could see that there will be an impact on No. 57, but the question is whether this is enough to refuse the application.  It is a well thought-out scheme, a great design, fit for purpose. It will impact neighbours, but in this day and age, people want to improve their homes.  The applicant has done as much as possible to take on board all the recommendations and advice to make this a good design.  Is happy therefore to support the application.

JP:  agrees with PB.  This is a really difficult application.  On the positive side, the design reflects a modern version of the buildings in the area; it is imaginative, and although the basement may be a bit risky and challenging, it will provide the required extra space.  On the negative side, there is concern about the impact on the neighbouring properties, and the need to pile because of the sandy nature of the soil.  Would be grateful if the planning officer would confirm whether the 25o and 45o light tests have proved to be satisfactory.

SC:  also echoes PB.  This is a very good quality design, but has every sympathy with the neighbours.  Has some concern about the issue of piling – are there any building regulations examples of this? Understands that the sandy soil could be an issue, and the works could cause a lot of disturbance.  What impact might this have, and what mitigation measures can be taken to minimise the threat to neighbours?

JS, in response:

-          PB answered DB’s question re changes in the policy since the previous decision.  There is no prescription that the rear building line most be the same, which was one of the concerns in the 1995 refusal. 

-          Regarding the light test, the ground floor side dining room window which faces the property fails the light test at the moment, and the 450mm increase won’t make it worse.  The scheme passes all other tests;

-          Regarding the pile foundations, previous applications have used this method to avoid tree roots – it is quite common, but doesn’t know the details of the process or building regulations.

 

SW:  if auger piling is used, this will involve drilling with a corkscrew-shaped drill, inserting a cardboard tube and then the concrete – it will not be hammered down.  There will be noise from the machinery, but it will not be disturbing the ground as much.

BF:  confirmed SW’s comments re. auger drilling.

 

Vote on officer recommendation to permit

12 in support – unanimous

PERMIT 

 

 

 

Supporting documents: