DM/2019/00564 The erection of a new two storey detached dwelling, with associated parking and landscaping on land adjacent to Treff Garne, Chapel Lane, Pwllmeyric, Chepstow
We considered the report of the application and late correspondence which was recommended for approval subject to the five conditions, as outlined in the report and also subject to a Section 106 legal agreement.
Councillor G. Down, representing Mathern Community Council, attended the meeting by invitation of the Chair and outlined the following points:
· This is a very narrow lane and there would be additional traffic generated should the application be approved. Pedestrians have to be mindful of the narrowness when sharing the lane with vehicles.
· Any additional traffic would conflict with any active travel plan for this location.
· The proposed property will be closer to the lane than any other property in this location.
· Since the proposed development will be positioned at a higher level than the lane, it will be a dominating feature.
· Access to the proposed property will require a tight turn through the entrance. Larger vehicles might not be able to gain access in a forward gear.
· Diagrams shown dealt with the street scene to the north. However, nothing was shown referring to properties in the south in Orchid Meadow. This is sloping ground, therefore, the proposed property will be on a higher level than those in Orchid Meadow creating an overbearing presence.
· This is a very large site. The site plan does not show the extent of the land within the property. There is further land which is excluded from the plan to the north west. Therefore, the proposed development could be located elsewhere within the site.
· Mathern Community Council asked that the Planning Committee considers refusing the application.
Dr. R. Collins, representing objectors to the application, attended the meeting by invitation of the Chair and outlined the following points:
· Objectors refute the claims in paragraph 6.4.1 of the report that most of the comments made by the community council and local residents have been addressed. Objectors stand by their objections to the application.
· The history of the development at Treff Garne is important. The house was erected with no planning permission and the building height exceeded the building height of the house it replaced. Planning permission had been granted retrospectively. However, neighbours had not been given the opportunity to object to the raised roofline and the overlooking windows. It is an unwelcome precedent to be using this height and this building to set the height of the new proposed building.
· Paragraph 6.1.2 of the report states that there is sufficient space to accommodate a detached dwelling and associated amenity space on the site. However, the objectors disagree. The report acknowledges that the plot is smaller than those around it.
· 30% of the site will be needed for vehicular circulation.
· The proposed development will be close to the original house, site frontage and neighbouring boundaries.
· The congested development will not be in keeping with the established context of Orchid Meadow and Chapel Lane.
· The proposed development will not add to a sense of place as indicated in the report. The proposal does not comply with planning policy DES 1 of the LDP.
· Paragraph 6.1.3 of the report states that properties to the south of the development are at a slightly lower level than the new plot. The difference in level is significant which will result in a significant loss of privacy for existing dwellings. The proposed development will have a negative impact on existing local residents’ privacy and amenity, contrary to planning policy.
· An earlier planning application for a development at Broadwinds in 2009 had been refused on the ground that the building would dominate adjacent buildings and would set a precedent. The same reasons apply to application DM/2019/00564 and therefore this application should be refused.
The local Member for Shirenewton, also a Planning Committee Member, was unable to attend the meeting but had emailed the Planning Department outlining her views on the application. The email had been presented to the Planning Committee in late correspondence. However, the Chair allowed a member of the Committee to read out the email, as follows:
‘The application has generated both neighbourhood and community council strong objections due to it being an overdevelopment of the site, loss of the character of Chapel Lane with neighbourhood privacy concerns.
The character of Chapel Lane neighbouring properties in this area are distinctive in terms of being based on single dwellings in good size plots adjoining a narrow one way country lane, opposite the Mathern conservation area. The additional 2 storey dwelling set forward and close to the road in the front garden of the existing property will totally change and be detrimental to the character of the area and neighbouring properties, and also will be detrimental to the visual amenity and the character of the existing dwelling.
It is important to note that the land slopes upwards so that the proposed new dwelling even though only 2 storeys will have a much greater impact on the privacy, visual and residential amenity of the properties lower down in Orchid Meadow due to the land being much higher. It means that quoting heights of the proposed dwelling and distances from neighbouring properties is irrelevant to the overbearing nature of the proposed dwelling due to the height of land differentials.
The planning report states that there is not a common building line but it is clear from the layout plan, that there is a common building line on the neighbouring properties of Chapel Lane, each with their own frontage.
In terms of planning policies, the proposed development is contrary to both planning policies EP1 and DES1 which can be found at the front ,on page 6 of this electronic version of this agenda. The major importance of these particular planning policy is illustrated by the fact that they are headed as the main policy context.
EP1 on Amenity states that: Development including proposals for new buildings and advertisements, should have regard to the privacy, amenity and health of occupiers of neighbouring properties.
In this case, this application does not have regard to the privacy of occupiers of neighbouring properties lower down in Orchid Meadow.
DES1 on General Design Considerations says as follows
All development should be of a high quality sustainable design and respect the local character and distinctiveness of Monmouthshire’s historic and natural environment.
Development proposals will be required to:
b) contribute to sense of place whilst ensuring that the amount of development and its intensity is compatible with existing uses;
c) respect the existing form, scale and siting , massing, materials and layout of its setting and neighbouring quality buildings;
d) maintain reasonable levels of privacy and amenity of occupiers of neighbouring properties where applicable;
l) ensure that existing residential areas characterised by high levels of privacy and spaciousness are protected from overdevelopment and insensitive or inappropriate infilling.
The layout of the properties on the neighbouring Chapel Lane are characterised by high levels of privacy and spaciousness in relation to their layout, setting and neighbouring building on Chapel Lane and privacy levels, all being single dwelling plots with frontages. Whereas, in contrast, the proposed dwelling will result in 2 dwellings on one plot, with the additional dwelling in the front garden of the existing property. It would result in overdevelopment of the plot, impact on privacy and be completely out of character and detrimental to its neighbourhood and setting.
The planning report agrees in paragraph 6.1.2 that whilst there is a mixture of house types along Chapel Lane the prevailing character is one of modern dwellings occupying substantial plots. It is also the neighbouring properties prevailing character that these substantial plots are for one dwelling only.
In summary, in view of the strong objections from occupiers of neighbouring properties and it being contrary to the main planning policy context, particularly, but not only, ensuring that existing residential areas characterised by high levels of privacy and spaciousness are protected from overdevelopment and insensitive or inappropriate infilling. I would be grateful if the committee would support refusing this application on the grounds of policy EP1 and DES1 (paragraphs, B, C, D and L).’
In response to the local Member’s comments, the Development Management Area Manager stated that the proposed development was in accordance with Policy DES1, EP1 and the site was sufficient to incorporate this development.
It was agreed that future statements in respect of a planning application made by Planning Committee Members and local Members who are unable to attend a Planning Committee meeting should be forwarded to the Planning Department to be placed in late correspondence. The letters would not be read out to the Committee, going forward.
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed, the following points were noted:
· Concern was expressed that the proposed development would be dominant in the area.
· If the application is approved, it was requested that 5 metres of tarmac be incorporated where the driveway joins the highway.
· Concern was expressed that overdevelopment of the site could occur along the lines of the development near to the chapel where overdevelopment of this site has occurred.
· The proposed development complied with planning policy and there were no reasons to refuse the application.
The Development Management Area Manager stated that the Paddock is not a part of this application being considered today. With regard to reference made in respect of the five metres of tarmac to be incorporated where the driveway joins the highway, it was noted that applicants are notified that this is a requirement via Section 184 of the Highways Act. However, with regard to this development it could be conditioned that the five metres of tarmac be incorporated. Planning polices DES1 and EP1 indicates that the plot is sufficient to accommodate this development.
It was proposed by County Councillor A. Davies and seconded by County Councillor D. Evans that application DM/2019/00564 be approved subject to the five conditions, as outlined in the report and also subject to a Section 106 legal agreement. Also, that an additional condition be added that the five metres of tarmac to be incorporated where the driveway joins the highway.
Upon being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded:
For approval - 6
Against approval - 3
Abstentions - 2
The proposition was carried.
We resolved that application DM/2019/00564 be approved subject to the five conditions, as outlined in the report and also subject to a Section 106 legal agreement. Also, that an additional condition be added that the five metres of tarmac be incorporated where the driveway joins the highway.