We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was recommended for approval subject to the conditions outlined in the report.
The Committee was informed that the proposed plans show no overhang of the roof. Therefore, if the application was approved the roof would be removed, the height of the walls reduced and a new roof would be installed which should be incompliance with the plans presented with no overhang.
The local Member for Lansdown, attending the meeting by invitation of the Chair, outlined the following information:
· There is a considerable overhanging of the roof which drains directly into the next-door neighbour’s rear garden.
· The design indicates no overhang of the roof. The previous design also indicated no overhang of the roof.
· Concern was expressed regarding the drainage arrangements. If approved, the report of the application refers to there being a 10 metre deep soakaway being built. However, there is no evidence of a soakaway of this size having been built.
· The whole street is affected by the development and had asked to meet with the local Member and had requested that he write a letter of objection on their behalf.
· Concern was expressed that a precedent might be set. A similar retrospective application in the street under a previous administration had been refused and the building had subsequently been removed.
· For this site an application had been approved for a ‘regular’ sized garage and there had been no objection to that application. However, what was actually built was very large. Therefore, a retrospective application has been presented to the Planning Committee in which the garage is 40% bigger than the building that had obtained the original planning permission.
· The local Member considers that a compromise would be to allow the garage but with a flat roof.
· The overhang is not shown on the proposed plans before the Committee today.
· There will be gutters on either side with down pipes to accommodate drainage. The storm water will be controlled via a 45-gallon storage container at each end of the garage for garden use. The container overflow is to feed into a three-metre-deep soakaway.
· In terms of setting a precedent, every planning application must be considered on its own merits.
· The application is retrospective, but the Committee is required to consider the application as if the development was not in place and base its decisions on the application and plans presented.
· The option of a flat roof is not part of the application being presented to the Committee.
Mr. M. Turnbull, objecting to the application and representing objectors, had submitted a written statement in respect of the application which was read to the Planning Committee by a Planning Officer, as follows:
‘I write to completely object to the structure proposed in application numbered DM/2021/01735.
The overall proposed size of the structure will still be out of scale with buildings in the immediate vicinity and since this is a retrospective application my objection is plain to see since the structure exists now. There is an assumption that the structure’s dimensions are as indicated on drawing supplied which I herewith question. I would also point out that these “dimensions” indicate a structure with “internal measurements” some 7,000cm x 6,400cm. However, since the applicant has decided to add cement render and then clad the building in natural stone some 300/400cm thick the actual external sizes have been exaggerated by another 15 - 20% at least. The original permitted internal measurements were only 6,000cm x 7,000cm with a height of some four meters.
Currently, standing at some 5.7 metres high the excessive height of the structure towers over neighbouring buildings and whilst the applicant applied for a single story building it is obvious that a second floor will be utilized. This is the only logical reason for the acute angle which has increased the overall internal usable height as opposed to a more obtuse angle which would have reduced the overall impact of the build. The suggested reduction in overall height of some 400mm (16”) is ridiculous. It would appear that the applicant proposes to remove the acute roof trusses, remove a course (or two) of blocks and then replace the acute roof trusses and associated tiles. This will do little to address the imposing visual height and impact of the structure.
Submitted drawing 21/SB/202A indicates the main beam height as 2540mm but not taking into account the concrete slab that forms the base. This gives a false impression of the measured height.
Given the roof area, I am also astonished the original planning was allowed when only a water butt or45-gallon container at each end. A little online research indicates a roof area of the approximate current size would yield some 126,000 litres of rain water per annum. I understand drainage soakaways some 10metres (30 feet) deep have now been adopted in March 2020 but would be interested if Building Control was consulted during their installation to check depth and methods. Was the soak away 3m or 10m in depth?
I note that officer Kate Bingham has recommended approval for this application.
In citing a mere 1.262m increase in height from the original planning permission in section 6.1.2. I would also point out this could be expressed as a 34% increase in the height from the original permission granted.
Section 6.1.3 refers to “other existing garages and outbuildings” in the near vicinity to the rear of Old Barn Way. I have measured all and not found one that exceeds 3.5m in overall height, ergo, the proposed altered structure will be some 75% taller than any of these comparable.
I object most strongly to approval of this planning application and request the committee reject the application.’
‘I would like the committee to take note of the following inaccuracies in the Planning Committee report that Councillor Groucutt / objectors have stated and to note my response on the planning portal site.
5.2 Neighbor Notification:
1. The actual stone is 200mm (8”) and not 300-400mm.
2. I understand that there is no maximum size although there is a minimum as per the Monmouthshire Supplementary Planning Guidance for Domestic Garages 2013 and therefore each application should be treated on its own merits.
3. The new ridge height proposed will be 5.263m and not 5.3m.
4. The Garage does not block any views as described.
5. The application resembles that passed in 2019, a garage with storage, the only difference is the ridge height is higher than that for a permitted outbuilding.
6. The committee to note that not every neighbour is affected by the proposed development as described by Councillor Groucutt. The next door neighbour, number 62, have raised no objections or signed any petition. They have no issues.’
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed, the following points were noted:
· The garage is a household planning application for domestic use only. The only acceptable uses for the garage would be auxiliary to the main house.
· There is a condition whereby the applicant is required to reduce the roof measurements outlined in the report within three months of planning consent being given. If the Planning Committee is not minded to approve the application, the Committee has the original planning consent which has already been approved.
· The garage is very big. The applicant had planning permission for a garage of four metres in height but decided to build a garage that is almost six metres in height. Concern was expressed that this has been distressing for the neighbours.
· Some Members considered that it would be appropriate to not approve the application and the that the applicant adheres to the original planning consent that has been granted.
· If the application is approved, the height of the garage will be reduced by half a metre with the pitch of the roof remaining in its current form.
· The garage has a large footprint and was considered to be too large.
In response, to questions raised the Development Management Area Team Manager informed the Committee that:
· The garage is for domestic use only so any other use would require planning permission.
· The roof lights were part of the approved scheme.
· No part of the development is to project past the boundary line between the properties.
· The footprint is similar to that which has already been approved.
The local Member summed up as follows:
· The applicant has permission for a garage that would be in scale with every other garage in the area.
· This is a residential application with a very large garage.
· The local Member asked that the Planning Committee considers refusal of the application and refer back to the original planning application which has already been approved by Planning Committee.
It was proposed by County Councillor P. Murphy and seconded by County Councillor A. Easson that we be minded to defer consideration of application DM/2021/01735 to allow officers to liaise with the applicant regarding the height of the garage. If the applicant decides not the amend the scheme, the application would be re-presented to the Planning Committee with a recommendation for refusal with appropriate reasons, namely, the visual impact on the street scene.
Upon being put to the vote the following votes were recorded:
For deferral - 8
Against deferral - 7
Abstentions - 0
The proposition was carried.
We resolved that we be minded to defer consideration of application DM/2021/01735 to allow officers to liaise with the applicant regarding the height of the garage. If the applicant decides not the amend the scheme, the application would be re-presented to the Planning Committee with a recommendation for refusal with appropriate reasons, namely, the visual impact on the street scene.