23/00414/FUL 61 Moorend Park Road, Cheltenham GL53 0LG
The case officer introduced the report, highlighting the main objections as loss of light and privacy, and the proximity of the proposed extension to the boundary. The Parish Council has objected, and the application was at Planning Committee at the request of Councillor Horwood.
Neighbour, in objection
The neighbour thanked members for considering his concerns, saying that the proposed extension would significantly alter key aspects of his home life and impact his most-used social spaces. It would be visually overbearing, obstructing both sunlight and view, thus diminishing the quality of his family life. The previously-approved application began by requesting a 4m extension which was amended to 3m, with the report highlighting the concerns about scale and impact on neighbouring amenity. It was surprising, therefore, that this scheme has now been resubmitted, with no alterations. It feels that the neighbour’s concerns have been overlooked by this reversal and the recommendation to permit, and an unfair way of the architect and applicant to get what they want. While appreciating the applicant’s right to expand, he had hoped for a compromise solution that would not have such an impact on his home and garden.
Councillor Horwood, in objection
Councillor Horwood began by saying that although this may seem like a small issue on the face of it, by incremental changes this proposed extension was being allowed to grow, thus undermining the credibility of the decision-making process and contradicting the idea of applicants sticking with the decisions taken. Concerns were originally raised over loss of light, overshadowing, and the overbearing nature of the extension on the neighbouring property, and the Parish Council also objected; the plans were revised accordingly, reduced in depth and width, resulting in an extension which was considered to fit comfortably in the plot. It was therefore difficult to understand how, whilst acknowledging the proper concerns of the neighbours, the recommendation on this revised scheme appeared to reverse the previous comments with a recommendation to permit. This method of applicants submitting repeated applications, chipping away at the planning system to get what they originally wanted is increasing across Cheltenham. Once a decision has been made for a suitably-sized extension, there is a strong case for sticking with that decision and not allowing incremental changes.
The Chair reminded Members that they must consider the scheme before them.
In response to Member questions, the case officer confirmed that:
- the revisions to the previous proposal for a 4m extension were made following objections from the neighbour and the Parish Council; the officer did not say anywhere in his report that he considered it unacceptable and that the original application would not have been supported. The applicant and agent chose to revise their previous application, but were within their rights to submit a follow-up application;
- a 45-degree light test was carried out to measure the impact of the extension on the neighbour’s kitchen-diner French doors and window; both passed, with the French doors alone passing without taking into account an additional kitchen window;
- officers have considered whether the proposal will be overbearing or overshadow the neighbouring property, and conclude that whilst it will have an impact, this will not be unacceptable;
- the rear elevation faces south-west;
- other than a nominal (less than one brick) reduction in the width, the current proposal is the same as the original application.
One Member said he fully understood the neighbour’s concerns and agreed with Councillor Horwood that this proposal for an extra metre was a step too far. He thought the first floor extension made the extension overbearing.
Vote on officer recommendation to permit
6 in support
4 in objection
- 23-00414 Officer Report, item 6. PDF 264 KB
- Representations 23 00414FUL, item 6. PDF 12 KB
- 61 Moorend Park Road - 23-00414 - presentation, item 6. PDF 4 MB