Agenda item

20/01914/FUL 4 Graduate Court, Cheltenham GL51 8PE


The Planning Officer presented the report relating to the erection of a cat cage.  The application is retrospective and was at committee as the applicant is a member of Cheltenham Borough Council.


In response to members’ questions, the Planning Officer confirmed:-


·         That the cat cage was covered with a waterproof transparent material, like plastic sheeting.

·         It was a retrospective application as the applicant had erected the cat cage and a neighbour then contacted planning enforcement.  As it was attached to the rear elevation it had to be considered as an extension with planning permission.

·         It was not allowed under permitted development rights as it was more than 0.5m in depth than was allowed under permitted development.

  • If the cat cage had not been attached to the rear and was more than 50mm away from the rear as a separate out building, the height and scale of the design could have been allowed under permitted development, but as it was bolted to the wall it had to be considered.
  • He was unable to confirm the height of dog kennels in other properties, but said it was likely they were permitted development, as they can go up to 2.5m in a separate outbuilding.  The cat cage is approximately 2.4m high, however about 0.5m too deep for permitted development, so it had to be treated as an extension.
  • On a query as to whether the cage was 0.5 m too high or 0.5 m too deep, the Officer explained that as the structure was bolted to rear elevation the depth / length of it was 3.5 metres so that was 0.5m more than allowed on permitted development. But the height was 2.4 metres and that would be allowed on any extension or out-building.
  • The cat cage could be used for human use, but the Officer’s consideration was relating to the design and impact on neighbours.


During the member debate the following points were made:-

·         Saddened by the comments of the neighbours and was the correct process followed in view of fact applicant was a Borough Councillor. Request that look into how member/officer applications are dealt with by the committee.

·         All objections were very similar and felt they might be politically motivated, as similar posts had been made on social media. Shows ignorance and lack of understanding of planning process.  Need a process to ensure this doesn’t happen when an applicant is a Borough member.  Disappointed by comments made but know can’t get involved in emotive stuff and need to follow planning guidelines.

·         A cage implied an open structure and as it was approx. 6 ft in height and had tables and chairs inside, sceptical that more for human habitation.  Another member objected to this as the applicant could sit inside to be with the cats.

·         Usually sceptical of retrospective planning applications, but most likely applicant thought this could be done under permitted development.

·         There was a comment about the cat cage being illuminated at night time, however the Chair pointed out that lights were not a planning concern.

·         What was the significance of it being labelled as a cat cage?  The Officer replied this was how the application was submitted and confirmed it could be used for a dog or for storage.

There being no further comments or questions the Chair moved to vote on the substantive motion to permit as per the Officer’s recommendation.


For : 9

Against : 0

Abstain : 2



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