To consider the report of the Team Manager Development Mangement.
53 Larch Lane, Bedwellty Gardens, Tredegar
Proposed two storey rear extension
The Planning Officer advised that the application sought planning permission for a two storey extension to the rear of 53 Larch Lane, Tredegar. The property was an end of link two storey house situated within the Bedwellty Gardens development site, located on a corner, which fronted onto the estate road which extended around the side boundary.
The planning Officer added that the proposal had been assessed against policies DM1 and DM2 of the adopted Local Development Plan (LDP) and the adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance for Householder Development Note 1 (Extensions and Conservatories) (SPG). The proposed extension met the requirements of the SPG in relation to its size, finish and roof design along with the remaining amenity space. The positioning of the extension was such that it would inevitably have some impact upon the immediate neighbouring property which would result some loss of light. However, the Planning Officer felt that any overshadowing would not be significant enough to justify refusal of the application. The Planning Officer was also satisfied that the proposal would not have an overbearing impact upon the amenities of the occupiers. The proposal would result in the windows on the first floor being brought closer to the garden of the property to the rear. However, this garden area was already overlooked and the Planning Officer was of the opinion that the impact would not be significant enough to justify refusal of the application.
The proposal was considered compliant with policy DM1 2c.
In conclusion, the Planning Officer stated that whilst the principle of a two storey extension was acceptable, the projection beyond the side building line was not considered an acceptable form of development and the approval of this development would set an unacceptable precedent for other such developments on the estate. Therefore, the Planning Officer referred Members to the officer’s recommendation that planning permission be refused.
At the invitation of the Chair, Councillor J. Morgan, Ward Member addressed the Committee.
Councillor Morgan advised that he supported the application for the 2 storey extension. The application had been submitted to allow the homeowner to convert his home from 2 bed to 3 bed property. The Applicant loved the area and wished to increase his property to accommodate 3 bedrooms. The Ward Member added that if this application was refused the Applicant would be unable to increase the size of his home.
The Ward Member noted that refusal was due to poor design, however other houses in the area are of mixed design, size and finishes and the Ward Member felt that this gave the area character. The Ward Member was of the opinion that the development would utilise similar materials and would make the pine end wall more attractive, therefore improving the property.
It was further reported that the proposed extension would be standing where there was currently a high garden wall and the extra height on the property would be on the first floor. In terms of the visual aspects, the side road was more of a service road as all properties faced outwards. The Ward Member reiterated that he felt that the extension would improve the property and would not have a negative impact on the area. The Ward Member therefore asked the Committee to grant the application.
At this juncture, the Chair invited the Applicant, Mr. Jenkins to address the Committee.
Mr. Jenkins stated that he had applied for planning permission in order to increase the size of his home as current housing market prices were at a high level and prevented the Applicant from looking to purchase a bigger home. The Applicant informed the Committee of the reason for the additional bedroom. The Applicant advised that he had not received any objections from neighbours and stated that the neighbours were in support of the renovation works.
The Chair thanked the Ward Member and Applicant for their statements and invited question from the Committee.
The Vice-Chair wished to clarify with the Applicant that the development was 3.5m as the Vice-Chair noted concerns that garden space was being removed although the family home was being increased. The Applicant confirmed that the development was 3.5m which left the garden at 6.54m.
A Member concurred with the local Ward Member felt that the development would not alter the streetscene and proposed that the application be granted. Another Member supported the application and stated that the houses in that area was of various sizes.
The Service Manager Development and Estates noted the different size reported by the Applicant and advised that the plans received by the Planning Authority stated 4.2m. Therefore, the Service Manager suggested that further discussions be undertaken with the Applicant and the application be deferred until the correct dimesions weres confirmed.
A Member asked if the application was deferred due to the different sizes reported would it make a difference to the officer’s recommendation. The Service Manager advised that the issue was not with the dimensions of the development it was with the design, however it was important that the size was clarified of the scheme being placed before Committee as it was inappropriate that Members agreed an application based on ‘a’ or ‘b’.
The Committee felt that a deferment would be an appropriate course of action.
It was proposed and seconded that the application be deferred to ascertain the size for clarification, therefore upon a vote being taken it was
RESOLVED that planning permission be DEFERRED.
86 Commercial Street, Tredegar, NP22 3DN
Change of Use from A1 to A2 Professional Services Ground Floor & B1 Office Use
First and Second Floors
Planning Officer noted that the application
sought planning permission for the change of use of
86 Commercial Street Tredegar from an A1 retail use to an A2 professional services at ground floor and a B1 office use at the first and second floors. The submitted details indicated that there would be no changes to the internal layout or to the external elevations. The Planning Officer advised that the premise was currently part of a larger retail store selling surplus DIY tools. The applicant was a care provider and the development would provide a base for within the Town Centre.
The Planning Officer referred to the planning policy assessments which had been considered with regard to the application and stated that although the purpose of LDP policy DM5 was to protect the retail core of the main town centres and oppose development which may harm or undermine this function, the Planning Officer advised that these policies were written some time ago and whilst still supporting the approach in principle, PPW advised that consideration be given to the impact of such a policy, taking into account the situation on the ground.
The Blaenau Gwent Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) which monitored the percentage of A1 uses in the primary areas identified that the percentage of A1 uses within the primary retail area had declined by 26% between 2009 and 2020.
The Planning Officer noted that there was currently a vacancy rate of 28% which was nearly double that of the Borough’s other town centres. The building was not currently vacant, however given the evidence of the AMR and the Town Centre Surveys it was clear that Tredegar Town Centre was in decline and the number of vacant units had increased. Therefore, the Planning Officer felt that the refusal of this application would contribute to the number of vacant units.
The Planning Officer felt that the proposed use of the building for office purposes would not have a significant impact upon the amenity of neighbouring occupiers and was compliant with policy DM1 2b. There were no external changes proposed and as the site was in the town centre and there were no concerns in relation to parking. The Planning Officer thereupon referred Members to the officer’s recommendation that planning permission be granted.
The Ward Member supported the officer’s recommendation and felt it was more important to have a shop open than a closed up building. The Committee concurred with the comments raised and it was thereupon
RESOLVED that planning permission be GRANTED.
33 Park View, Tredegar, NP22 3NZ
Proposed two storey rear extension
Planning Officer outlined the application which had been presented
following a request by the Ward Members. The Planning Officer
advised that planning permission was being sought for a two storey
extension to the rear of
33 Park View, Tredegar.
It was reported that the property had an existing single storey extension which measured 3.2m and the proposal was to replace this existing extension with a two storey extension which measured 6.3m at ground floor and 4.9m at first floor. The works would provide an enlarged kitchen and lounge at ground floor and a bathroom and fourth bedroom at first floor level.
The Planning Officer provided an overview of the planning assessment and pointed out that the first floor extension was 4.9m and not 5m as noted in the report. However, the Planning Officer stated that the extension would still have an overbearing impact on neighbours.
The Planning Officer was of the opinion that approval of this application would set an undesirable precedent for other similar sized extensions within the area. Although comments raised by Ward Members that the application had been submitted due to the family size, the Planning Officer felt that an additional bedroom and upstairs bathroom could still be accommodated at the site albeit marginally smaller than currently proposed, therefore it was noted that the officer’s recommendation was for refusal on this application.
At the invitation of the Chair, the Ward Member Councillor H. Trollope addressed the Committee.
Councillor Trollope advised that this application mirrored the application previously considered in the Georgetown Ward. The Member advised that the Applicant had wished to extend the family home in order to accommodate additional bedrooms. It was continued that the Applicant was not in a position to relocate to a bigger home due to the current financial climate and therefore wished to make the necessary alterations to their home.
Councillor Trollope pointed out that there are homes of various size, shape and design in the area some which have high walls around the respective properties. The Ward Member felt that there would be no impact on the streetscene and reiterated that no objections had been received from neighbours. The Ward Member added that neighbours felt that the extension would further enhance the area.
Councillor Trollope felt that in some instance applications need to be considered on their own merit. In this instance the Applicant needed to make improvements to the property in order to accommodate their family and the Ward Member thereupon asked the Committee to grant the application presented.
At this juncture, the Members of the Planning Committee considered the application.
A Member referred to the size of the development and asked if mediation could be sought with the Applicant to reach an appropriate resolution. The Officer confirmed that mediation had been offered, however the Applicant wished the application be considered as submitted.
Another Member advised that he had visited the area and concurred with the comments raised by the Ward Member. There were various extensions in the area which have been built over the years in varying shapes and sizes. The Member added that this application would not have a detrimental impact on the streetscene or neighbouring properties and proposed that the application be granted.
Another Member sympathised that the Applicant wanted to extend his home, however he felt that the Committee must remain focussed on planning merits relative to policy. The Member felt that a site meeting could be arranged in order for Members to view the site and ascertain for themselves the impact it would have on the area.
A Member further concurred with the Ward Member and advised that there would be no impact on the streetscene as there were already a number of homes in the area of similar size which set a precedent and therefore proposed the application be approved. This proposal was seconded.
It was proposed and seconded that the application be granted. A vote was taken and 13 voted in favour of the amendment, therefore it was
RESOLVED that planning permission be GRANTED.
Penuel Villas, 2 Harcourt Terrace, Tredegar, NP22 3QE
Construction of a first floor extension over an existing ground floor extension
The Team Leader advised that the application sought permission for the erection of a first floor extension over an existing ground floor extension to the rear of the property. The dwelling was two storeys when viewed from the front and three storeys to the rear as a result of the topography of the area. The rear of the site overlooks vacant scrub land and beyond that was Upper Salisbury Street. The Planning Officer noted that the site was also within the Tredegar Conservation Area.
The Team Leader added that planning permission was required in order to extend the first floor existing bedroom. The proposed development would result in extending the existing gable projection and meets the projection of the ground floor measuring approximately 3.6 metres in width, by 2.1 metres in depth. A window was proposed to the rear elevation. The Team Leader used diagrams to show the Committee proposed elevations and proposed floor plans.
The Planning Officer continued that no representations had been received from the public consultation, however a Ward Member had requested that the application be placed before the Planning Committee as it was felt that the application was in keeping with the neighbourhood as there were similar builds in the area and the extension would not interfere with others.
In terms of the Planning Assessment, the Team Leader noted that the proposed extension was situated to the rear of the existing dwelling, with the rear of the site adjoining dwellings at Upper Salisbury Street. The extension would be the same width and height as the existing gable, which was significantly set down from the ridge of the existing dwelling resulting in the extension appearing subservient to the host dwelling. Although the depth of the proposed extension was relatively small in scale at 2.1m, the resultant gable projection would be 7m.
The Planning Officer stated that guidance stipulated that extensions must not exceed 4.5m in length at first floor level when measured from the main back wall of the original house. In exceptional circumstances extensions that project more than 4.5m from the main back wall of the house may be considered acceptable subject to site specific circumstances e.g. separation distance to neighbours, size of the site, ground levels etc. The Team Leader acknowledged that although the proposed extension would not appear out of character with the streetscene or detrimentally affect the character or appearance of the Tredegar Conservation Area, the proposed development was contrary to the recommendations set out within the SPG due to its overall length of 7m.
The Team Leader referred to the consideration given to the impact on nearby properties and informed that although No. 3 Penuel Villas would have minimal impact, No.1 Penuel Villas would be impacted in terms of overbearing and overshadowing. Therefore, the Team Leader was of the opinion that the cumulative size of the first floor gable would have a detrimental impact upon the residential amenity of the neighbouring property in terms of being overbearing and overshadowing contrary to LDP Policy DM1(2)c. The Team Leader also noted the existing extension already exceeded the 4.5m set out in the SPG and therefore any further extensions would fail to comply with the principles set out in the SPG and it was thereupon noted that the officer’s recommendation for refusal.
At invitation of the Chair, Councillor Trollope, Ward Member noted from photographs presented that there are extensions either side of the property and only vacant land at the rear. The nearest building was a funeral parlour and therefore it was felt that the development would not impact residents. The Ward Member was of the opinion that it would be unfair to the applicant to refuse this application and asked that the Committee to approve the application.
Another Ward Member concurred with the views of his Ward colleague and felt that the application should be approved.
It was proposed and seconded that the application be granted. A vote was taken and 13 voted in favour of the amendment, therefore it was
Councillor W. Hodgins abstained from the vote.
RESOLVED that planning permission be GRANTED.
Glanyrafon Court and adjacent grounds, Site of
former sheltered housing at Allotment Road,
Ebbw Vale, NP23 5NS
Construction of 15 residential dwellings with a new road, car parking, gardens, hard and soft landscaped areas
Service Manager Development and Estates advised that the
application sought full planning permission
for residential development on the site of the former
Glan yr Afon Court and an area of adjoining undeveloped grassland to the southeast. The proposed residential development would provide 15 affordable units and comprise of one and two storey buildings in the form of a mixture of flats, short terrace of bungalows and semidetached houses. The proposed bungalows and ground floor flats would be designed to accommodate wheelchair access in order to meet the needs of potential residents with limited mobility. The Service Manager noted the number of house types as detailed in the report.
The Service Manager added that the proposed residential development would primarily front onto the new internal access road and the proposed bungalows and semi-detached houses would be located on the south-western and north-eastern sides of the internal road respectively, while the proposed flats would be located at the south-eastern end adjacent to the new vehicular turning head.
In terms of the existing footpath that linked Cambridge Gardens and Ebbw View to Allotment Road, it was reported that these would be redirected around the side and rear of the proposed flats, and the existing public green spaces to the sides. The rear of the proposed residential buildings would be enhanced through tree, shrub and wildflower planting and the footpath would be open for public use.
The Service Manager continued that the existing vehicular access which previously served the former sheltered housing at Glan yr Afon Court would be utilised as the main access into the residential development. It was reported that a total of 22 off-street car parking spaces are proposed which are generally located to the front of the residential buildings.
At this juncture, the Service Manager presented diagrams and maps which outlined the landscaping plans along with the development as detailed in the report.
It was further reported that the north-western part of the site comprised of brownfield land which previously accommodated the former sheltered housing complex at Glan yr Afon Court. The latter had now been demolished, the tarmac surfaced car parking area on the northern part
of the site remained in place along with some other minor infrastructure. The Service Manager noted that from the upper part of the site the land sloped down to a slightly lower area of amenity grassland with some trees. This area of greenfield land predominantly characterises the central and south-eastern part of the site and was crossed by a number of footpaths.
was noted that the north eastern boundary of the site adjoined
business and commercial uses, while the
south-eastern boundary adjoined the remaining amenity grassland and footpath area which continued to follow the bank of the river down towards the residential area of Glanyrafon. In addition to the detailed plans showing the proposed site layout and floor plans/elevations of the proposed houses, the Applicant had submitted supporting information which included hard and soft landscaping plans, a Planning, Design and Access Statement, a Tree Survey, an Arboriculture Impact Assessment, an Ecology Report and Ecology Update Letter, a Drainage Strategy and Flood Risk Assessment, an Intrusive Mining Risk Assessment Report, a Remediation Strategy Report and a Geotechnical Letter Report.
The Service Manager added that the applicant had also undertaken a statutory pre-application consultation prior to the submission of the planning application, which included publicising a draft of the proposed residential development and consultation with the community and specialist consultees, including ward members.
The Service Manager noted that no objections had been received from internal and external consultees. However, 28 objections had been received from residents as well as a petition which had 36 signatories and the Service Manager gave an overview of the responses received.
The Service Manager further highlighted the key points of the Planning Assessment. It was reported the north-western part of the site comprised of brownfield land which previously accommodated the former sheltered housing complex at Glan yr Afon Court. Therefore, the principle of a residential use on this part of the site had previously been established. The Service Manager was satisfied that the proposed residential development was compatible with the neighbouring commercial and employment uses located immediately to the north of the site. The residential development on the more central and south-eastern part of the site would be compatible with neighbouring land uses which primarily comprised of a mixture of residential and recreational type uses. It was added that as such it was felt that the proposed residential development met the requirements of LDP Policy DM1 (criterion 2a) in respect of neighbouring land use compatibility.
It was further informed that the central and south-eastern part of the site would be best described as a type of amenity greenspaceand whilst this area of land was not covered by any LDP allocations or designations, development management policy DM13 sought to protect existing open space from development proposals. The Service Manager noted that local residents were of the view that this area of land was a valuable recreational resource which served the local community. The LDP provided a very broad definition of “open space” and indicated that it included all land that was available for use by the public for informal and formal recreational and leisure uses.
The report stated that the LDP Policy DM13 was applicable in this instance and as such, the proposed residential development should be assessed against the relevant policy criteria. Firstly, it must be demonstrated that the site had no significant amenity, recreational or nature conservation value. If this was met, there was a further requirement to demonstrate that another criteria must be met in relation to the surplus of such facilities in locality, the loss could be replaced with an equivalent or greater provision in the immediate locality, or the development enhanced an existing facility.
In terms of whether or not the site had significant value, the report indicated that this type of informal open space was not included in the open space assessment which informed the allocations and policies of the adopted LDP and was satisfied that the proposed residential development would not result in an unacceptable loss of open space. It was therefore clear that this type of open space was not considered to be significant at a strategic or county borough level in respect of its recreational or amenity value. The Service Manager noted that if this was the case the site would have previously been assessed and informed the preparation of the LDP. In respect of the nature conservation value an ecology report and update survey letter confirmed indicated that the application site was not considered to be of a significant ecological value.
There had been no quantitative assessment undertaken in relation to informal open space and therefore it was reported that it would be difficult to reach a judgement on whether there was a surplus of such facilities in the locality. However, on the basis that was no surplus of other types formally assessed open space within the ward and given that the site had some unique characteristics, the report stated that it would not be unreasonable to reach the judgement that there was not a surplus of such facilities in the locality. It was further noted that there were no proposals included in the application that looked to replace the amenity greenspace that would be lost.
Although there remained a conflict with Policy DM13, it was reported that it remained necessary to consider the proposed residential development against the requirements of the adopted LDP and the loss of open space needed to be balanced against the provision of affordable housing. The LDP Policy sought to ensure that local housing needs was met and a mix of dwelling types, sizes and tenures are delivered. The report stated that it was important that planning authorities explored all opportunities to increase the supply of affordable housing.
The Service Manager further spoke to the report and highlighted key points in relation to flooding. The Service Manager stated that the NRW had raised no objection in principle to the proposed residential development although it had been highlighted that there was a need for a flood risk activity permit. The Service Manager was therefore satisfied that the risk of flooding was not significant in relation to the location of the proposed development.
The Service Manager also referred to planning obligations and noted Section 3 of the report in relation to a request which had been made for a commuted sum towards upgrading outdoor play facilities in line with the requirements of the adopted Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Guidance. The Glyncoed play area and ball court had been identified as the existing facility where the commuted sum would be spent. The requirement to provide this type of planning obligation was however, subject to development viability and the Applicant had submitted a viability assessment which indicated that the proposed residential development would not be financially viable if this leisure contribution was sought. The viability assessment had been considered and the Service Manager confirmed that the proposed development for affordable housing would be unviable if any planning obligations were to be sought as part of the current planning application. It was satisfied that sufficient evidence had been submitted to demonstrate that the proposed development would be unviable if the aforementioned planning obligation was provided.
Therefore, the report stated that it must be recognised that without the planning obligation, the proposal would not fully meet its infrastructure needs and as such, would have some negative impact on local community facilities. However, this impact needed to be balanced against the
benefits of delivering much needed affordable housing. It was the officer’s opinion that any negative impact on local community facilities would not be significant enough to outweigh the benefits of the proposal.
In conclusion, the Service Manager Development and Estates was of the opinion that the proposed residential development was acceptable in land use terms and would not have a detrimental impact on residential amenity, local biodiversity or the character and appearance of the surrounding area. The Service Manager referred to the officer’s recommendation for approval subject to the conditions, if the Committee granted planning permission.
At this juncture, the Chair invited Mr. Newman, an objector against the application.
Mr. Newman informed that he presented the case on behalf of many residents who objected to the development in its current form. Mr. Newman wished to report that the residents were not opposed to social housing development on the site and advised that there was already a great deal of social housing within the Badminton Ward. It was added that for many tenants and private owners have lived happily together and it was hoped that this would continue to be the case.
Newman advised that local residents opposed this development
because of the extent of open space and park land which have been
available for many years and would be taken up by the development.
Although LDP does not designate the
area as a park such sustained use should constitute established use
in planning law.
Mr. Newman added that when Tai Calon presented the application to residents it was limited to the footprint of the former building, grassed area and footpath. This would have been acceptable, however the plans have been amended a number of times and would now take the open space used by residents.
Mr. Newman continued that previous consultation was undertaken by Tai Calon and this was comprehensively rejected by residents due to the loss of the park area, however this application was much worse. Mr. Newman advised that the consultation with Tai Calon had been poor and misleading. It was stated that due to the pandemic there had not been an opportunity for public consultation. In normal times, the public gallery in the Council Chamber would be full of residents who wished to express their concerns. It was felt that local democracy had been lost. The park had not been used for any other developments other than for amenity of recreational space in the last 50 years and therefore it was felt that it should be constituted as established use as a recreational facility.
Mr. Newman informed that the area was not in any of the Ebbw Vale North Strategy or Housing Allocation nor was it linked to northern corridor area. It was felt that any housing development in the park area was contrary to planning policies. There were no material planning merits which justified the approval of the application. Mr. Newman continued that the loss of such a small number of houses would not have a detrimental effect on the area, however there would be significant loss if the development was approved due to the loss of park land. The recent survey identified the lack of outdoor sport and play areas in the Borough and therefore Mr. Newman felt that this would be another area lost if the development was approved. There was a real concern that if this application was approved a precedent would be set which could affect other park and open spaces.
At this juncture, Mr. Pritchard was invited by the Chair to address the Committee.
Mr. Pritchard, Planning Consultant informed that he was the Agent for the Project on behalf of Tai Calon Community Housing the not for profit registered social landlord set up to manage and take ownership the councils housing stock.
It was reported that the proposal represents a new programme by Tai Calon as part of programme to replace outdated assets and make a valuable contribution to high quality energy efficient homes. The proposal sought planning permission for a mix of homes as per the needs of the Borough. There was a great need for afford housing in the community and the Council’s affordable housing target was expected to be missed, therefore any affordable housing was welcomed. The development would provide the need identified.
Mr. Pritchard further noted the plans and advised that the red line boundary consisted of the former building and the proposal took a further 20% undeveloped land. A significant portion of space would continue to be accessible.
The proposal had been designed to maximise the open space and Mr. Pritchard explained that this was the only suitable option for the site and the designs had been undertaken to ensure it limited tree loss and amenity standards are addressed. It was noted that Tai Calon had no desire to develop other parts of the site. The application had been developed in full discussion with officers of the local authority.
Mr Pritchard regretted that some residents did not support the development and noted the major concerns on the loss of the green space. Mr. Pritchard appreciated that green spaces had become more of a necessity during the pandemic. However, this proposal had considered these benefits, whilst objections had been raised there was a number of families and individuals who would benefit from these homes. In conclusion, the office’s report sets out the development and accepted the application. Mr. Pritchard had hoped that the Committee would concur with the officer’s recommendation and approve the application.
A Member posed a question and asked if there was a public footpath running through the site. The Team Leader - Built Environment advised that the footpath running through the site was classed as an adopted highway and the scheme would be diverting this via the appropriate legal process.
The Ward Member advised that he had represented the Badminton Ward for over 16 years and since he was elected he had given the commitment to residents that greenfield sites and adopted green spaces would be maintained. The Ward Member stated that this commitment still stood and he felt that as this development extended further than the original site onto the green space used by residents he could not support that planning permission be granted.
The Ward Member felt that the development was contrary to policy and was of the opinion that that there were other sites available which could accommodate a housing development.
At this juncture, the Members of the Committee gave their views. It was felt that although the area was not wholly a greenfield site it had benefited the residents for many years. A Member was of the opinion that the Committee must listen to the local Ward Member and concerns of the residents and it was thereupon proposed that a site meeting be arranged in order for the Committee to see the area to be developed.
It was added that there are other areas of land within the community where housing could be developed which are not utilised by the community.
Another Member appreciated the need for social housing within the Borough, however it was stated that since the pandemic the need for open spaces have become much more valuable to communities.
There was a discussion and Members supported the proposal for a site meeting as it was felt that original site was sufficient for the development and there was not the need to take any additional green space.
Another Member sympathised with residents and local Members in terms of the loss of open space, however there was also a need for bungalows and affordable housing in the Borough. The majority of applications presented highlighted the struggle to afford bigger homes due to the current market climate.
It was proposed and seconded that a site meeting be arranged. A vote was taken and it was
RESOLVED that a site meeting be arranged.
Foundry House, Grahams Yard, Tredegar, NP22 4QP
Two storey extension & porch to the front elevation
The Team Manager Development Management advised that the application sought permission for the erection of a two storey extension and porch to the front elevation of a detached residential property. The dwelling was within the area of Grahams Yard, Tredegar.
The Team Manager Development Management added that a Ward Member had requested that this planning application go before the Committee for consideration as the Member had done some research and it appeared that similar alterations had been made to other properties within the Borough. Therefore, the Ward Member felt that this application should go before Committee and had hoped that an agreement could be achieved in terms of design. The Team Manager Development Management added that alterations to the proposal had been discussed with the Agent and Applicant, however they had requested the application be considered as submitted.
The Team Manager Development Management advised that the proposal had been assessed against the necessary policies of the adopted Local Development Plan (LDP) and the adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance for Householder development. The LDP Policy stated that development proposals should be appropriate to the local context in terms of type, form, scale and mix. Policy DM2(b) required proposals to be of good design which reinforced local character and distinctiveness of the area or positively contributed to the area’s transformation. The Team Manager Development Management noted that the existing dwelling was highly visible when approaching the front of the site due to its siting and limited screening along the boundaries.
Although, the proposed extension was significantly set down from the ridge of the existing dwelling and proposed a width which is less than 50% of the width of the existing dwelling, by virtue of its projection (3.6m) off the front elevation, the extension would appear an overly dominant feature and would not be viewed as a subservient addition to the dwelling.
The Team Manager Development Management further outlined the planning assessment as detailed in the report and in conclusion stated that the proposed development would adversely affect the character and appearance of the existing dwelling and surrounding area. The Team Manager Development Management added that it would set a precedent for similar developments within the surrounding area which would be contrary to LDP Policies and have a detrimental impact on the character of the streetscene. The extension proposed a render finish and it was noted that the neighbouring dwelling was of a brick construction with a rendered gable, a render finish was not in keeping with the brick construction of the existing dwelling and therefore was also contrary to the SPG. The Team Manager Development Management added that this could however be addressed by a suitably worded condition.
Team Manager Development Management continued
that the Agent was advised that a
two-storey, centralised extension of a reduced length, which allowed for the dormer roof window to be retained may be considered more favourably, however the agent confirmed they wished the application to be determined as submitted. Therefore, The Team Manager Development Management noted that the officer’s recommendation for the refusal of planning permission.
A Ward Member advised that the extension to the property was to extend the family home and suit their personal needs. The Member added that there had been no concerns from neighbours and reported that there were other homes of similar size in the area. The Member thereupon asked that the Committee approve the application.
The Service Manager – Development and Estates pointed out that design comments had been raised in relation to number of applications. The Service Manager noted the design was a subjective issue, however there appeared to be a misconception that the Planning Authority required all homes to look the same and this was not the case. The Service Manager stated that the Planning Authority felt that the application was poor design which could be improved upon. The development could be made better and there was no objection to the extension.
Members concurred with comments raised by the Ward Member and felt that the design was in keeping with the local area.
In terms of questions raised around mediation to negotiate suitable changes, it was confirmed that if this was a new dwelling it would not be approved as designed. The Team Manager noted that the next door property had a central front projection which added to the symmetry and was not as long. It was felt that this development would be an incongruous addition to the front elevation and was more akin to a rear extension. It was suggested that the extension be reduced and moved to the middle to maintain symmetry and become a feature rather than look like an unacceptable bolt on to the front of the dwelling which would then be a more suitable development, however this was rejected.
It was proposed and seconded that the application be granted. A vote was taken and 7 voted in favour of the proposal and 5 voted in favour of the officer’s recommendation, it was therefore
RESOLVED that planning permission be GRANTED
Councillor G. Thomas abstained from taken part in the vote.