Application DM/2020/00616 - Retention of existing 1.65m high close boarded timber fence and reduction of existing ground level by circa 300mm. 21 Jasper Tudor Crescent, Llanfoist, Abergavenny, NP7 9AZ
We considered the report of the application which was recommended for approval subject to the six conditions outlined in the report.
Mrs. H. Trotman, objecting to the application, had prepared a written statement which was read out to the Planning Committee by the Head of Planning as follows:
‘I write again in sheer frustration at the length of time this unauthorised building works has been allowed to remain. I cannot express how distressing it has been to be unable to obtain a resolution to this matter.
When I first contacted the local authority, I had expected that regulations relating to this matter would be stringently upheld. I have been dismayed to find this is not the case. I have now had to employ a civil litigation solicitor at extensive cost to pursue this matter. This out of respect to my tenant, a consultant doctor at Neville Hall, who has been left with the consequences of the applicant’s actions. Her residential amenity destroyed for three years and putting a blight on my property. I should not have needed to employ a solicitor, the regulations on this matter are clear and I feel sorely let down by the planning department. Clearly, I was naive in the belief that the regulations were in place to prevent others doing harm to another person’s property.
This latest application doesn’t change anything. It improves nothing from the previous one. Dropping the soil by 300mm on the applicant’s side, leaves us with the same issues and the same regulations breeched, which I have explained in detail in my objection letter. For example:
This application again is merely replacing part of the height with a trellis.
2. Land raising
The reduction of the earth level by circa 300mm the applicant’s side, will do nothing to alleviate the damage this has caused and continues to cause on our side of the wall, it merely reduces the level of earth their side.
3. Misinformation by the architect
The applicant did not put in the drainage system drawn on the plans agreed. Ms. G. Hunt is incorrect in her comment on the applicant’s letter dated 25th June 2020. A pipe was put in their side, but not the length of our side to prevent the pooling of water, failing to mitigate the harm being caused to my property.
4. Drainage outlet
The current pipe drains into our garden storm drain, which the applicant does not have permission to do. The applicant has failed to indicate where they now intend to drain?
4. Maintenance of the original fence
The new fence has been attached to the original fence. This does not allow any maintenance works to be carried out. This has not been addressed.
5. Raised sleeper bed
Should this new ground level be given approval and the fence reduced with trellis, there would still be a privacy issue. Replacing earth with a raised sleeper bed does not remove this problem. Any land raising consent causes overlooking and a breach of our privacy.
In conclusion, I implore the committee to reject this application once again and finally pursue enforcement to have the land put back to its original level. Allowing such works to remain, would open the floodgates for the public to do what they want on new build sites and make a mockery of the current building regulations.’
The local Member for Llanfoist, also a Planning Committee Member, outlined the following points:
· Condition 6 alongside number 20 could be extended to the boundary with number 19 with a view to addressing the concerns raised by the objector.
· The land would still be half a metre higher than the original lawn level. There would also be the raised sleeper bed, which is 300mm high. Therefore, from the top of the sleeper bed the fence would only be to a height of 1.3m.
Having considered the report of the application and the views expressed the following points were noted:
· The work was undertaken without planning permission or guidance in 2017 and has negatively affected the neighbour’s property and amenity.
· Consideration should be given to restoring the land to its original position and level.
The Head of Planning informed the Committee that with regard to the drainage, there is no evidence to suggest that this development has worsened the current drainage issues on the site. With regard to privacy and overbearing issues relating to the fence, this was not considered to be a reason to refuse the previous planning application and it was outlined that this was not a reason given to refuse the previous application considered by the Committee (DC/2018/00218).
It was proposed by County Councillor P. Murphy and seconded by County Councillor M. Powell that application DM/2020/00616 be approved subject to the six conditions outlined in the report.
Upon being put to the vote, the following votes were recorded:
For approval - 7
Against approval - 6
Abstentions - 0
The proposition was carried.
We resolved that application DM/2020/00616 be approved subject to the six conditions outlined in the report.