Erection of a detached single storey annexe at rear to be used by people with learning difficulties.
The Committee considered a report on the above application for the erection of a detached single storey annexe at rear to be used by people with learning difficulties.
The application had been de-delegated by Councillor Burke.
Mrs Burke, an objector, and Councillor Wendy Mathys, a ward councillor, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31.
The principal issues raised by Mrs Burke were:-
· That residents were open to change and had not objected to previous applications.
· The care home maintained good relationships with local residents.
· The application was effectively for a bungalow in the back garden and there were concerns that this would set a precedent in the area.
· There was an upward slope to the bottom of the garden which would make the development look taller and more imposing.
· Residents felt that the revised application would still cause harm to neighbours.
· The horse chestnut tree was a prominent feature of the conservation area and it was feared the development would affect the tree in the long term.
· The Council had stringent policies for conservation areas and it was felt these were not being upheld with this application.
In response to Member questions officers confirmed that the tree would not be removed and the proposed development would be sited two metres from the tree. Officers had consulted a tree expert who had looked at the scheme in detail and had suggested a method of construction which would safeguard the root system.
Mrs Burke stated in response to Members questions that the development would be visible from Landseer Road as it would be higher up the garden than neighbouring properties.
The Head of Planning stated that this application was for an annex to the house and not for a standalone residential building as it would not have its own garden, parking or refuse storage. The application was similar to a granny annex and there was a growing trend for these to be developed across the borough. It was not felt to be back land development by officers.
The principal issues raised by Councillor Mathys were:-
· All three ward councillors oppose the application.
· Over development which posed a risk to a protected tree.
· The application fell within a conservation area which was valued by residents.
· The back gardens of the properties were long but narrow and the existing outbuildings of neighbouring properties were garages or sheds.
· The development would be clearly visible and overbearing.
· It is felt to be back garden development through the back door.
· There would be movement to and from the main house all day and night which would disturb neighbouring residents.
· The proposed access would be very close to number 103.
· Queried whether fire hazards have been considered.
· The application posed a dangerous precedent for back garden development in the area.
Officers clarified that there was 24 hour staff cover with four fulltime staff members. Risk assessments relating to the management of the home were for the organisation to consider and the Care Quality Commission to monitor. Furthermore fire risks were assessed by Building Control and were not a factor the committee could consider when looking at the application. Officers stated they were not aware of any external lighting being proposed alongside this application.
Some councillors felt that there would be an increase in similar applications due to an aging population and increasing property prices, however it was important to consider that this was a business enterprise and not for private family use.
Councillors raised concerns that there was not sufficient protection for the tree and that horse chestnuts shed branches which would affect the development. It was felt by some councillors to be back garden development and the amenity of neighbours would affected.
Officers clarified that the annex could not be sold as a separate residential property from the main house as it would require planning permission. It would need to be sold as an annex to the main house.
A poll vote on the officers’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 31.4, when there voted:
To grant (3) Councillors Samantha Bourne, Patrick McManus and Hanna Zuchowska
Against (3) Councillors Margaret Court, Hamish Pollock and Graham Whitham
Abstained (3) Councillors Richard Clifton, Vincent Galligan and Amy Haldane
The Chair used his casting vote and voted to grant permission.
Resolved: That planning permission be granted for application No. B2014/70685/FUL, subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.