To determine the application
David Rowen presented the report to Members.
Members received a written representation, under the Public Participation Procedure, from Matt Gosling, the Agent, which was read out by Member Services.
Mr Gosling apologised for not being able to attend in person, but thanked committee for the opportunity tosubmit thesupporting statement for theirconsideration. He stated that the applicant previously redeveloped the donor site known as Magnolia Cottage back in2013/14 by replacing a rundown cottage with a purpose built modern dwellingto suit their housing needs and, having now lived in the village for around 7 years, they find themselvesoutgrowing their present home with limited opportunity to extend and achieve their requiredlevel of accommodation.
Mr Gosling stated the applicant does not want to leave the village and having not been able to find a suitablesized property forsale elsewhere in thevillage has proposed the scheme before the committee today, which provides the level of accommodation they require fortheir expandingfamily andthe caseofficer’s considerationstates thedesign, scaleand appearance isdeemed acceptable. He referred to the sequential test and the sites with permissions listed by the case officer,further considerationhas beengiven tothese sites and,whilst theyhave validplanning permissions, a search of the land agents websites reveals that none of the single plots areavailable for sale.
Mr Gosling stated that contact has been made with the owner of the site for the four dwellings west of Magnolia Cottage and they have an email confirmation that all these plots are allocated, one bytheir daughter and the other three have been sold to individuals. He expressed the view that the other site in the sameflood risk area for a development of four comprising two detached dwellings and a pair of semi-detached dwellings is a) not for sale and b) not comparable with the application for a large, detacheddwelling.
Mr Gosling referred to Paragraph 158 of the NPPF, which states ‘development should not be allocated or permitted if thereare reasonably available sites appropriate for development in areas of lower risk of flooding” and, in his view, itseems unfair that the authority are considering sites preferable that are in the same flood riskarea when theyare notfor sale which mustrender themunavailable. He expressed the opinion, as stated in the Flood Risk Assessment, the site is considered ‘very low long term flood risk for surface water’compared toother approvedsites whichare ‘lowrisk’ inthe sameregard and itappears unreasonable that they are considered preferable just because they have a valid permission inplace yetthe applicationsite has alower probabilityof flooding.
Mr Gosling stated, with regard to the concerns of overlooking from the owners of Ivy cottage, the applicants areprepared to obscure glaze the two small first floor side windows and provide privacy screeningto the side wall of the balcony by way of extended walling or obscured screening as suggestedby the caseofficer whichcould be conditionedaccordingly. He urged members to support approval of thisapplication.
Members asked questions, made comments and received responses as follows:
· Councillor Mrs Bligh expressed the opinion that the application site is an extension to the dwellings already in the vicinity. She added that is in keeping with the area and the application should be approved.
· Councillor Benney stated that the proposal is for a nice house in a nice area, with the reason for refusal being due to the sequential test and he stated that the person who owns the land does not own the other land and there may be reasons why the other land is not coming forward. He expressed the view that to refuse the application would be a shame and he added that officers have acknowledged that is suitable for development and, in his view, the application is in keeping with the area.
· Councillor Mrs Bligh stated that if the application is refused, in her opinion, should the applicant appeal, they have a good chance of winning due to the development already in the vicinity.
Proposed by Councillor Benney, seconded by Councillor Mrs Bligh and decided that the application be approved AGAINST the officer’s recommendation.
Members did not support the refusal of planning permission as they felt that the application meets the requirements of policy in all respects other than the sequential test and felt that the benefits of the scheme in terms of providing housing outweighed flood risk considerations.