Redevelopment of the existing commercial and residential garden site to provide a mixed retail and residential development comprising a terrace of eight 3-bedroomed three storey houses. Erection a two storey extension to the existing Class B8 ancillary retail / office building to create a ground floor shop unit and conversion of the extended space above to create a 2-bedroomed self contained flat. Provision of cycle and refuse storage and 12 car parking spaces.
The Committee considered a report on the above application for redevelopment of the existing commercial and residential garden site to provide a mixed retail and residential development comprising a terrace of eight 3-bedroomed three storey houses. Erection a two storey extension to the existing Class B8 ancillary retail / office building to create a ground floor shop unit and conversion of the extended space above to create a 2-bedroomed self-contained flat. Provision of cycle and refuse storage and 12 car parking spaces.
The application had been de-delegated by Councillor Richard Broadbent.
Following an Officer presentation, Members asked for clarification on:
· The obscured glaze requirements.
· The boundary line.
· Natural drainage in the area.
· Length of gardens concerned.
· Distance to neighbouring property.
Kenneth Harverson, an objector, and Councillor Richard Broadbent, a ward councillor, addressed the meeting under Standing Order 31, and the applicant Jo Tasker replied.
The principal issues raised by the objector were:-
· Visual impact.
· Noise disturbance.
· Loss of view and natural light to 223 Cheam Common Road.
· Character and style of the development.
· Traffic and access to the main road.
· The provision of only 12 parking spaces and a lack of parking in the surrounding local area.
· Flood risk.
Members asked the objector for clarification on the loss of light and whether the objection was raised due to the increase in five to eight units.
The principal issues raised by Ward Councillor Richard Broadbent were:-
· The increase in five to eight units and loss of garden space, as per Paragraphs 1.8 and 5.12 of the report.
· Commenting only with regards to the timber yard and not highlighting the loss of garden space when describing the impact of the development, as per Paragraphs 5.5 to 5.7 and 5.18 of the report.
· The contradiction of Paragraphs 5.13 and 5.10 regarding the character and appearance of the surrounding area under Policy DM30.
· Whether the development could be considered a visual improvement as mentioned under Paragraphs 5.16, 5.17 and 5.21 in relation to the gardens.
· Significant extra movement of vehicles compared to the previously agreed scheme.
· Road traffic concerns and lack of evidence with regards to Paragraphs 5.27 and 5.38 and a failed request to see the consultation response of Highways.
· Impact on biodiversity.
· Overlooking concerns with regards to 223 Cheam Common Road.
Members posed questions to Councillor Broadbent as to:
· When Councillor Broadbent had requested the highways evidence, to which it was responded that it is not available on the online Planning Portal and had been asked for two days previously. The Principal Engineer Highways and Transport present stated that no information was restricted and that Highways had responded as a statutory consultee and this was sent to the Planning Officer.
· Whether Councillor Broadbent was seeking refusal, which was confirmed, on the grounds of the contradiction under Policy DM30 and the character of the development as well as concerns in relation to overlooking and traffic. The Planning Officer responded that DM30 did not constitute a blanket ban on garden development but rather the context of development of other buildings, and in this case, would not harm the character of the area.
The Principal Engineer, Highways and Transport, also explained in response to Members, the Council Parking Standard implemented while the Chair confirmed that the area was served well by public transport.
The principal issues raised by the applicant were:-
· The distance of objections letters received.
· Lack of objections from other neighbouring properties.
· Separation distance of development and rear of houses in Cheam Common Road.
· Obscure glaze windows under condition.
· Same contemporary design as permitted under application 2015.
· Participation in the considerate construction scheme and Condition 4.
· Meeting of parking requirements and access condition.
· The good size of gardens for existing Cheam Common Road houses.
· Protection of residential amenities.
· Sustainable location.
Members posed questions to the applicant on the subject of:
· Whether sunlight would be blocked, to which the applicant responded with information on the direction of the gardens and separation distance.
· The length of the gardens.
In debate, Members discussed:
· Access turning right into / out of the property cutting across morning traffic, and whether access measures could be included under condition. The Principal Engineer present recommended a yellow box and the developer would be required to include this in their submission and cover the expense.
· The assessment and value of the garden land and the subsequent loss to the ecological balance of the area.
· Whether the development could lead to an enclosed overbearing environment for residents.
The Strategic Development Management Advisor explained that backland development is now accepted as the norm and evidence of severe harm would have to be provided to justify refusal on such grounds. A report would be coming to Committee soon on costs awarded against the Council under similar instances.
Following confirmation of an access condition in relation to the yellow box, a poll vote on the officers’ recommendation to grant permission was held in accordance with Standing Order 31.4, when there voted:
To grant (7) Councillors Tim Crowley, Jason Reynolds, Muhammad Sadiq, Vincent Galligan, Hamish Pollock and Margaret Court.
Against (2) Councillors Graham Whitham and Samantha Bourne.
Abstained (1) Councillor Patrick McManus.
Resolved: That planning permission be granted for application No. A2016/73996, subject to the conditions, reasons and informatives set out in the Appendix to these Minutes.