Agenda item

19/01375/FUL 21 Canterbury Walk


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 the neighbour will be the loss of amenity, being immediately faced with the extension when coming out of the front door. 

BF:  it is nice to hear the applicant say the officer worked well with them to make sure the scheme complies.  This doesn’t always happen – long may it continue.

SW:  when first reading the report, and looking at the drawings, thought this extension couldn’t be done, as it came right to the boundary line.  Drove past this evening and noted that in fact, the space between the two houses is not great but it looks quite open.  A number of photos of similar properties and extensions show we have been here before; if No. 23 wants to do what No. 21 is proposing, we could end up with a terrace effect, and would need to look at it again. As TO has said, the front door 23 is on the side, and the distance to the neighbouring boundary is no more than 3 ft, but that is how the houses were designed.  Has no issues with this application, and it would be difficult to refuse, with so many similar examples throughout the town.  Is surprised the house only has two bedrooms.  More space is clearly needed for a family, to make this modest house more liveable.

PM:  recalls similar applications at 70 and 72 Rosehill Street which fill the gap entirely.  The principle is well-established, that whoever gets there first is more likely to get the permission – that’s just the way it, and the message is that if anyone is thinking of extending in this way, they should get on and do it.  

RW:  there are a lot of houses in Hatherley and Warden Hill with plots this shape, and has been involved in some animated debates on planning applications that maybe shouldn’t have been permitted.  The issues that have to be considered are the effect on the neighbour and their view of brick wall – is there going to be anything to break that up, such as  obscure windows in side wall, to make it less oppressive to the neighbour, and reduce the sense of loss of amenity?

DO, in response:

-       the simple answer to that is no.  The wall will get 2m closer; it will have a brick finish and no windows are proposed. 

Vote on officer recommendation to permit

10 in support - unanimous



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