Agenda item

22/01441/FUL 10 Selkirk Street, Cheltenham, Glos GL52 2HH


The planning officer introduced the report as published.


There were 2 public speaker on the application – one in objection and the agent in support.  Councillor Tooke was due to attend the committee, however due to ill health could not attend and his speech was then read by democratic services.


The objector made the following points:

·         Cheltenham is known as a spacious town with glimpses of gardens and trees.

·         The application was until recently a well maintained garden.

·         Initially there was no light report

·         The application  was turned down in 2003.

·         It will be an over development of the site

·         There will be barely a meter space between the proposed building and number 18.

·         It will have no view from the rear and no off road parking.

·         It will not be in keeping with the surrounding properties.






The agent on behalf of the applicant then made the following points:

·         The applicant has lived on the street for some time and they have submitted the plan in preparation for their retirement on a street they enjoy living in.

·         The level of local animosity for the application has been stressful for the applicant, but they have sought to work with the Council’s planning officers and to take into account residents concerns.

·         The proposal makes good use of a site within a sustainable location in the PUA.

·         The contemporary design is of high quality and supported by the Civic Society, the revisions made during the process address the initial concerns of the architects panel.

·         The amenity of neighbours is not harmed.

·         There is no danger to highway safety.

·         The proposal is compliant with  the climate change SPD and includes a number of renewable technologies such as solar panels and an air source heat pumps.

·         Care was taken from the outset of the design process to minimise any potential impact on adjacent neighbours.

·         Further amendments have been made to take into concern of the neighbours.  There has been a chartered surveyor appointed to undertake the assessment over the potential daylight and sunlight impact, that report concluded that there was no adverse impact.

·         The planning officers report covers the matters raised and sets out why there is no reason for planning permission to be refused.

·         Objectively speaking this is a high quality scheme, incorporating renewable technology that makes good use of an under utilised plot.

·         It is within the principal planning urban area and has been deliberately designed to minimise any potential impact on adjacent properties.




The speech of the Ward Councillor was then read out by a member of democratic services.  He made the following points:

·         He believed that the documents had been prepared by disinterested professionals, an independent architect, a former chief town planner (from another county) and a leading light consultancy on light and planning issues.

·         The planning department has not visited impacted neighbouring properties and has made a “presumption in favour” of this supposedly sustainable development.

·         They have ignored the key points of SPD 2009 with regard to the impact on amenity

·         The impacts on amenity are as follows: reduction of daylight to neighbouring gardens and rooms, reduction of sunlight to neighbouring gardens and overshadowing of rooms, the neighbours ability to use their garden space due to overlooking and lack of privacy and an overbearing appearance of neighbouring development in relation to existing gardens and buildings by virtue of its height and position.

·         Having visiting neighbouring properties believes that there is unacceptable harm being done for those reasons.

·         As it is a small plot the building is inappropriately high and will loom over neighbouring properties and severely impact the light going into Larkspur, 10.10a and 18 Selkirk Street.

·         The house will be built so close to neighbouring walls that privacy will be lost and windows will be over shadowed,

·         The planning department did not do a light test, if they had the problems with the proposal would have been obvious.  A Member requested the light test which led to a last minute deferral of the planning hearing.

·         Passing the proposal will mean that one garden will be lost and severely damage another, many gardens have already been lost to hard surfaces in the area.

·         There will be loss of valuable green spaces which as driven about 18 complaints, which contravenes SPD 2009.

·         The argument that this land is an eyesore only stands as believes that the garden has been allowed to become one. 

·         Planning approval will bring a substantial gain for a land owner and granting permission will mean that the landowner is inadvertently rewarded, it was once a beautiful and can be so again.

·          It could be argued that the property will make a nod to sustainability with the plan, the garden will be paved , when there is a deluge there will be significant run off into the drainage systems and sewers which get overwhelmed and often pump waste into the rivers.

·         There is a direct environmental consequence to the removal of our porous gardens and on that side of Selkirk Street.

·         Sustainable properties are not just low carbon properties  they are properties that increase bio diversity and take into account broader impacts across the ecosystem such as run-off.

·         In 2003 the principle of building on this plot was rejected by the planning department due to worries that the overall impact on the neighbourhood and over development.

·         Parking is also a consideration with this development as more cars will be added without the provision of additional parking.



The matter then went to Member questions, the responses were as follows:

·         The window on the side of the terrace is a stairwell, the other neighbouring property has a bedroom window.

·         The applicants agent does not state that it should be given less weight to the lighting statement, as owners they believ that they believe that is should carry more weight.

·         There has never been a property on the site of the application.



The matter then went to Member debate where the following points were raised:

·         The issue is the impact on the basement flat at 10a, depending on which report you read the opinions differ.  There is no question that this development will take the sunlight from the window at the basement flat.

·         The concerns that the residents have raised do not have planning applications ie parking is not a planning concern.

·         The gap between the two properties face south east and there is a large tree, the question is how much sunlight is the basement flat getting already.  The tree is quite a way down, the angle of the photograph is a bit misleading.

·         The difference between 2003 and now is significant as Larkspur was not there.  The loss of amenity to the basement flat should be enough.

·         The design of the application is ok however the impact on the basement flat will cut their light down considerably.  The basement is independently resided in and that’s the main concern.


The Head of planning stated the SL1 would be the consideration on the vote to refuse.  He also confirmed that SPD2009 is a current document.  He also confirmed



Vote to permit:

For: 2




Grounds for refusal policy SL1 paragraph a and SPD 2009 and not just the impact on the basement flat and Larkspur at the rear of the property.  Loss of outlook is also a consideration for the property at Larkspur.


Vote to Refuse on the above grounds






Supporting documents: