Agenda item

23/00430/FUL 82 East End Road, Cheltenham, GL53 8QL


The case officer introduced the application, a revised scheme following a previous Committee refusal on the grounds of loss of light and outlook for the neighbouring property.  The current application, supported by a light assessment, reduced the width, eaves height and ridge height, and while accepting it would have an impact on neighbouring amenity, this was not considered unacceptable.  The recommendation was to permit, including a condition requiring obscure glazing


Public speaking

Neighbour, in objection

The neighbour began by saying there was nothing in the revised application to alter the refusal reasons on the previous one, with the small reductions making no difference and still resulting in the loss of six hours of daylight to his property.  The report acknowledges that the proposal fails the 25 degree light test to the kitchen window, but was factually inaccurate, stating that the doors to his kitchen are the main source of light – this is not the case. As this harm has been identified and will have a serious impact, the application should be refused.  He considered the house to be big enough for a family of four, and that there was no reason other than profiteering to extend it further.   If approved, the extension would be oppressive and overbearing, and he was depending on the Committee to restore his faith in the planning process.


Applicant, in support

Although disappointed by the original planning refusal, the applicant said he had chosen to submit a modified scheme which met guidance for daylight and sunlight rather than appeal.  Overwhelming expert evidence showed it met all guidance, yet the neighbour has chosen to reduce the light to his own kitchen by introducing solid panels to the French doors; these were easily reversible, but were an attempt to thwart the plans.  In so doing, the neighbour has reduced the light to his kitchen and his outlook - his two main grounds for objecting to the proposal – and his new outlook, towards the applicant’s boundary fence and garden, compromises their privacy.  In addition, the neighbour is now claiming loss of views of trees from the non-habitable landing window as a reason to refuse the proposal.  The applicant said his family is happy in Charlton Kings, but will clearly never satisfy the neighbours.  He hoped his willingness to change his plans and engage professional advice would demonstrate the acceptability of his proposals.


Member questions

In response to Members’ questions, the officer confirmed that:

-        he did not suggest that the neighbour block their French doors.  He had previously explained how light test worked, taking into consideration the impact on the main and secondary light sources, and that if the French doors weren’t there, the impact on the side window as the only source of light would be taken into account, resulting in a recommendation to refuse;

-       no light test was submitted with the previous application.  The applicant had engaged a light assessment professional for the revised scheme.



In debate, Members made the following points:

-       the previous proposal was a bit uneven but only as deep as the extension on No. 84;

-       the outlook from the neighbour’s kitchen window was very much compromised, either its view or loss of sunlight, being north-west facing;

-       on Planning View, Members saw a small kitchen window and solid French doors at the neighbouring property.  This would fail the light test, which assumed glazed French doors, and presents a quandary in deciding whether to support the proposal;

-       Members cannot solve neighbour disputes – they are here to make judgements on planning matters.  If someone appears to contrive to change an outcome by blocking doors, they can do so, but the doors were clear when the application was made and the light test undertaken;

-       the difference between this and the previous application is the substantive information on the light test.  There is no doubt that the applicant has done as much as possible to satisfy planning requirements and address the neighbour’s concerns;

-       if the door had been obscured before the original application, we would be looking at one window as the only source of light, and it is difficult to adjust thinking that it became obscure part-way through the application process.  The neighbour says the door was blocked for more insulation and to keep the kitchen cooler, but this is not a planning matter.


Vote on officer recommendation to permit

7 in support

1 in objection

2 abstentions


Supporting documents: