Agenda item

19/01230/FUL 151 Old Bath Road


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.

PB:  the highways officer can advise on this.

RW:  it might be question for the highways officer if the designation of  ‘garage’ is important.  There is no reason to believe the applicant will put a car in it – most people don’t  If the applicant was to change the name of the building to shed or store, would we have grounds to it turn down?  Is it a garage or a building?  If it is a garage, is it practical and safe?

CM, in response: 

-       it would be daft to reverse onto the road but not illegal;

-       is confident that turning can be achieved, and satisfied that if the garage is for its intended use, the owners will be more worried about scratching their car – it may be tricky, but there is enough room to turn so this is their issue and their choice.  There is no highways reason why this is not acceptable.

BH, in response: 

-       the description of the development is ‘garage’ – whether it is used for a vehicle is up to the applicants.  Ultimately, as the highways officer has said, it would be silly to build a garage that they can’t get a car into, but permitting the garage isn’t in itself giving permission to enter and exit the driveway via main road;

-       to CM, re the suggested condition regarding groundworks from the tree officer, this is a standard and typical condition, and wouldn’t require a follow-up visit.  If there is any suggestion that works aren’t being carried out in accordance with the condition, and officers are made aware, the matter could be followed up from an enforcement point of view.

Vote on officer recommendation to permit

12 in support – unanimous



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