Agenda item

21/02385/FUL & LBC 76 Andover Road


The Planning Officer introduced the report relating to changes in the revised plans of two previously granted applications for a new garage annexe building to the rear of 76 Andover Road.  The changes in plans related to the partial demolition and re-building of two sections of existing garden wall located between properties at 74 and 76, and 76 and 78 Andover Road.   The application was at committee at the request of three councillors who were mainly concerned about the heritage asset of the wall. 


The Chair invited Objector, Cathy Presland, to address the Committee.  She stated she did not oppose the development, but wished to point out that this change was not a proposal for a rebuild or a repair, but for a full demolition and loss of part of a listed wall, which was purely for the convenience of the developer to enable foundations for a two storey building.  She said this was not allowed under the law and due process had not been followed.  The report did not describe the harm to the listed asset and did not provide any evidence for a lawful decision. Mrs Presland continued that they did want a decision and had consulted with a heritage expert to provide the evidence and he had concluded it would be contrary to published guidance to approve this application.  There was no justification for demolition and no public benefit.  She concluded she wanted the development to go ahead but wanted the proposed change refused.


In reply to Member questions, the Planning Officer gave the following replies pointing out that in the absence of the Conservation Officer who was unwell, he would not be able to comment as fully on the heritage aspects.


·         The information on whether the wall was at risk of collapsing or not, had been supplied by the neighbour.

·         Regarding whether proceeding would be unlawful – this had been discussed and the correct process had been followed.  The Legal Officer confirmed that he did not have any concerns.

·         There were two walls in question in this application, one between 74 and 76 and a smaller section between 76 and 78.

·         The matter of ownership of the wall was not a planning matter.  It was a shared party wall and the applicant had to adhere to regulations around that.

·         The 2 previous applications were not for building inside the historic walls but for over the top and clearly that would not support an additional annexe, hence this application to demolish and rebuild.

·         The Conservation Officer would have looked at all documentation including the NPPF and description of heritage assets and made his decision based on those.


The Chair confirmed that if members had conservation questions that could not be answered at the meeting, then in the absence of the Conservation Officer, members could move to defer.


The Interim Head of Planning further explained to members the complicated history to this application.  In summary, he stated it related to the heritage value of the wall to be demolished.  The original approval was to retain the wall and build up on top of it.  The applicant had said this was not structurally possible and whether that was the case or not, the matter was the rebuilding of the wall with the existing stones in traditional format with the modern part being built off it.  The question for members to consider was the historical significance of the wall.


In reply to questions about the historic bricks and if they still had them, the Officer confirmed that the condition stated it should be rebuilt with the salvage bricks but if they did not have the bricks, then agreement from the planning authority would be needed.


Photos showed that some of the historic wall had already gone and the Officer clarified that the wall between 76 and 78 would be integral to the two permitted annexe buildings whereas the wall between 74 and 76 would have an exposed side.


The Chair moved to debate and the following points were made:


·         It was a heritage asset, thus the wall should be preserved and be there to be seen.  Two applications on the annexes and garage had been granted but should be built without touching the heritage wall.  Not happy that now want to knock the wall down and not incorporate it into a new build, thus the heritage asset will have gone.  The applicant can build what they want without knocking the wall down and build slightly smaller but the maintenance of the wall was subject for both parties.   Would move for refusal.

·         Having been advised that the wall was sound and could remain as it was, would  support refusal.

·         Wall still in place at 30 Tivoli Walk, where there were 5 listed villas.

·         Innovative architecture but heritage aspect would be lost as well as any benefit from it, so would support refusal.

·         Difficult application, also would not support but need to look at reasons for refusal, possibly NPPF para 194 harm to or loss of significant heritage asset and also SD8 para 3.


Before going to the vote the Officer gave some final comments, stating that some of these points had come up in discussion with the Conservation Officer and he read out the Conservation Officer’s comments which included that no harm had been identified and as no harm was perceived, there was no requirement to consider against public benefit. 


The Interim Head of Planning clarified that it was part demolition of part of the wall and hoped he had not misled members earlier and reiterated the Conservation Officers view that this was not harmful development.  The scheme proposed was to dismantle and rebuild a section of the wall.  The wall had lost its uniformity due to past repairs and was leaning and could not be incorporated into the side annexe of the building.   Rebuilding using current brick would be legible as part of the boundary wall.


The Chair concluded by saying that harm was subjective and that section 194 of the NPPF stated harm or loss should be exceptional and he could see no justification for the loss of the boundary wall.  Benefits should outweigh harm and there were no benefits and development could go ahead without the wall being touched.


The Chair moved to the vote on the Officer recommendations.

Firstly, on the Officer’s recommendation to permit the planning application.


FOR : 1


ABSTAIN : 0               NOT CARRIED


Secondly, on the Officer’s recommendation to grant the listed building consent application.


FOR : 1


ABSTAIN : 0              NOT CARRIED


The Chair then moved to the vote on the motion for refusal on both the planning application and the listed building consent application on the grounds of heritage harm contrary to the NPPF and policy SD8, with the exact refusal reason wording in consultation with the Chair and Vice Chair.


Motion to refuse the planning application:

FOR : 7


ABSTAIN : 1             




Motion to refuse the listed building consent application:

FOR : 7


ABSTAIN : 1             



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