Agenda item

22/00124/FUL 15 Pilley Lane, Cheltenham, GL53 9EP


The case officer introduced the application.


Public Speaking

The agent said the application was to replace a bungalow with a pair of semi-detached dwellings, in a high-density principal urban area, and brownfield site, compliant with both the JCS and the Local Plan.  In an area of shortfall in housing requirements, there was an expectation that permission be granted unless it caused harm.  Pilley Lane is varied in style, but mostly two-storey dwellings – the bungalow is an anomaly – the officers consider that the proposed dwellings respect the character and style of the area.  The Architects Panel consider the site to be capable of accommodating two dwellings.  Various design suggestions have been taken on board during the process, including reduction of the roof mass, landscaping to the front, and changes in materials, as agreed by condition.  The size has been minimised, and the houses blend in well.  Local member and Parish Council comments have been taken into account, the highways officer is satisfied with access and parking arrangements, neighbouring amenity is not adversely affected. The proposal addresses the housing shortfall in a sustainable location.


Cllr Horwood conceded that there is a variety of properties in Pilley Lane, but pointed out that those next to the chapel at the moment are bungalows, giving an open aspect and suitable prominence to a locally listed building.  Other two-storey houses in the area are modest in scale.  There is concern that this building won’t be subservient to the chapel; it will be overpowering, a huge increase in scale – in effect a bungalow making way for a three-storey building.  Being so high and so close to the chapel, it is possible that it will reduce light to the chapel windows.  A parish councillor has called it ‘grossly insensitive’, saying the colour was wrong for the area, and calling them ‘anywhere houses’.  Pilley Crescent residents are also concerned that a precedent may be set with this application which will change the character of Pilley Lane.


Member question

In response to questions from Members, the case officer confirmed that:

-       A locally indexed building is one of community interest and its setting should be taken into account.  The report states that officers do not consider the impact of the proposal too severe;

-       There may be some impact on light to the chapel, but there are also a number of windows which won’t be affected, so officers are content that the impact won’t be too great;

-       Regarding impact on the neighbouring bungalow, the existing bungalow is immediately adjacent to the boundary, so the neighbouring one is already compromised; the new building is taller but set back from the boundary, and the neighbouring windows likely to be affected serve a box/storage room;

-       A brownfield site is one which has been previously developed;

-       The drawings are to scale and therefore considered accurate;

-       The changes to the proposal are an attempt to reduce its bulk.  The bungalow had a hipped room, but there are lots of gables and pitched roofs in the area.  What is proposed seemed to be a reasonable compromise, and the Architects Panel considered it to be a positive move.


Member debate

One Member spoke, saying he liked the development, which he didn’t regard as overdevelopment of putting additional strain on the infrastructure or amenity of the road.  He accepted that the design was different from others in the road, but the general style was pretty eclectic, and it made good use of space, offered variety, and retained a lot of land behind.


Vote on officer recommendation to permit

8 in support

1 in objection


Supporting documents: