Members considered an application for 1no. dwelling, including the upgrade of access, private drive and new associated garage – a redesign of approved plot 2 under application number 135838.
There were no officer updates at the start of this item.
The first public speaker to the item was the applicant, Mrs Hazel Walker. She raised the following points:
· People at neighbouring properties and the parish council had raised issues that had previously been dealt with;
· The applicant wanted a site to build a dream home; the principle of a new home had previously been established;
· Legislation encouraged the fact that designs should not be imposed unnecessarily;
· Materials had been used in the design that were more complementary of the surrounding area;
· There was no need in the location to develop a second dwelling that mirrors the property on Plot 1 – this was supported by Planning officers;
· The footprint of the proposed development had increased on the northern end of the site, without any implications for the south of the site;
· The revised design was not significantly larger in mass to the original dwelling;
· The windows were no higher than previous designs and would not overlook any amenities;
· The twisting of the building did not create any element of overlooking or loss of privacy;
· The proposal would not have a negative impact on any views; in fact it was considered that the proposal would be less detrimental than the previously approved design;
· Foul sewage would be discharged into a private sewage plant; this solution had been deemed acceptable by an ecologist, as well as Natural England;
· The approach taken by the applicant toward potential harm to species had been supported by Natural England and was not a consideration.
The second speaker was Mr Styles, an objector to the application, speaking on behalf of his family and a neighbour. He raised the following points of view:
· A stretch of the private lane accessing the property was owned by the neighbour;
· The first application on the site was not objected to, despite others in the village raising their objections. The vendor in that application kept residents well informed throughout the design process, and talked about two ¾ sized houses which was deemed acceptable;
· Objections to the application included:
o It would be impossible to manoeuvre a fire engine in the lane;
o A dustbin lorry could not access the lane;
o An inadequate sewer was discharging waste into the village sewer, which floods every time it rains. Anglian Water had not corrected a problem which has existed for years;
o Permission had been granted for two ¾ sized houses; the present application was for a 5 bedroomed house with a significant sized workshop;
o There was potential for 5 or more cars daily accessing the site;
o The demand on the sewer would create even more foul water and would affect water voles;
o This proposal could set a precedent for the adjoining plot; the proposal was too big and out of place in the centre of the village. This was the wrong development in the right place.
A second objector, Mr Hall spoke to the application, making the following points:
· Mr Styles objected to the initial application; there was consternation that this first application had never appeared at Planning Committee. It had been dealt with by delegated powers by WLDC officers;
· The need for two properties on this access road was contested;
· Endorse everything that previous speaker had outlined. In addition, this application merited a site visit.
The final speaker to this application was Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan, the Ward Member for Hemswell, which included the village of Glentworth. He raised the following points:
· This application and its predecessor remained controversial in terms of their access and drainage;
· The original application was preferable to the current planning application;
· The proposed redesign was the main objection, with a focus on the proposed build;
· Glentworth was a community that treasured its conservation area, whilst embracing qualified change. Under the NP, any new housing should be sympathetic to the parish’s rural and diverse character. The application would change the outlook of neighbouring residents;
· The new proposal would have an increased ridge height of 8.1 metres, an increase from the initial 7.5 metres;
· The redesign on plot 2 was not sympathetic;
· Glentworth NP section 3.1 supported development proposals where the design and detailing complemented the established character of the village. This was developed further at 3.1.1 – the ways in which overall scale, proportion and massing related to neighbouring buildings;
· The montages in the report were taken in the summer when the surrounding trees were in leaf; it was a very different viewpoint when leaves have been shed, as there would be no canopy as suggested in the report. Screening would be less effective in Autumn and Winter;
· The roof of the proposed dwelling would be visible above the canopy of trees and hedging;
· Concerns remained on the amended design; the fallback of the original application would be preferable.
Note: Following this contribution, Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan left the Chamber.
Planning officers present responded to points made during the public speaking section of the committee, as well as answering queries from Members. Further information was provided:
· The site in question already had planning permission for one dwelling. One of the key material changes was the new NP, with protected viewpoints. The ‘gateway’ view of the village provided a first impression of this rural settlement. This proposal, in the opinion of officers would blend in and not stand out;
· There was a garage area to the front of the development, with extensions to the rear. There was an existing pond to the rear of the property;
· If the application were to be granted, any permitted development rights to further extend the property should be withdrawn;
· There was a likelihood of Great Crested Newts in the pond. They were considered a ‘low risk’, and there were proposals for mitigation should they enter the area. Natural England have advised following the ecologist’s recommendations.
A site visit to decide whether the proposal reflected the topography of the site was moved and seconded, a change to the printed officer recommendation.
Following a vote, this application was DEFERRED to allow for a site visit to take place.