Agenda item

11-13A And Land East Of 3-11A, High Street, Chatteris
Part change of use of existing buildings to form 3 additional dwellings (2 x 3-bed and 1 x 2-bed) and erect 2no dwellings (2-storey 3-bed) involving the demolition of existing outbuildings, a sun room and walls within a conservation area and extend existing dwelling/shop
11-13A And Land East Of 3-11A, High Street, Chatteris
Internal and external works to listed buildings to form 2 x 3-bed and 1 x 2-bed dwellings and extension to dwelling/shop

To determine the applications


David Rowen presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the public participation procedure, from Councillor Haggata of Chatteris Town Council.


Councillor Haggata stated that the members of Chatteris Town Council fully and unanimously support both applications, which will allow a neglected and in need of serious attention site to be refurbished and restored to improve the attractiveness of this site on High Street.  He made the point that the properties proposed for refurbishment are situated in a very prominent position on this side of Chatteris High Street and informed members of the Listed Buildings that existed in close proximity to the site, which form an attractive vista along this area of Chatteris High Street. 


Councillor Haggata expressed the view that, if the applications are approved, it will complete and enhance this vista, which can only be of benefit to the surrounding area and encourage more use of this side of Chatteris High Street.  He stated that Chatteris Town Council is in the process of encouraging local businesses to improve and upgrade their presence on High Street by the means of Chatteris Town Council Renaissance Improvement Grant, which has proved successful with many local businesses applying for the grant to refurbish and enhance the appearance of their shop fronts on High Street and Market Hill.


Councillor Haggata advised that Chatteris Town Council members are of the opinion that these planning applications will also be of great benefit to the revival of Chatteris High Street and enable more needed homes to be available in Chatteris.  He understands that refurbishment is not without high costs and, therefore, it is accepted that both planning applications are necessary for these improvements to proceed, which is why Chatteris Town Council fully support the applications.


Members received a written representation, from Andrew Wignall, an objector, read out by Member Services.


Mr Wignall stated that he was unable to attend the meeting in person due to work commitments, but his statement was on behalf of the residents of 2 and 6 Boadicea Court.  He fully endorses the redevelopment of the High Street and accepts for financial reasons the area known as Dobbs Yard needs to be developed to enable the funding of the refurbishment and redevelopment of the High Street properties but does have a number of concerns regarding Dobbs Yard.


Mr Wignall raised concern about the open nature of the car ports as these directly open onto the boundary and, in his view, would cause both noise and environmental pollution, especially as the existing boundary wall is only approximately 1600mm high, with the drawings not showing the height of the walls.  He expressed the opinion that Plot 2 adjacent to the boundary of 6 Boadicea Court will be increasing the shear height of the wall to 2.7 metres based upon the information within the officer’s report, which is an increase of over 1 metre.


Mr Wignall expressed the view that the location of the two-storey element is likely to cause over shadowing in the evening to the garden as the sun moves to the west.  He asked members to consider rejection of the application on the basis that Plot 2 should be located further away from the boundary and open car ports be redesigned to prevent noise and environmental pollution to the neighbouring properties.


Members asked officers questions as follows:

·         Councillor Benney stated that as a Chatteris Councillor, he fully endorses what Councillor Haggata has said.  He made the point that the shops have been empty for a long time and this building needs money spent on it.  Councillor Benney welcomes the applications and made the point that the applicant is doing this with his own money although the rear development is needed to provide the income to refurbish the front.  He expressed the view that if this development does not happen Chatteris will start to look like Wisbech Town Centre, where public money is needed to come forward to put things right and make them safe.  Councillor Benney expressed the opinion that it is commendable that the applicant has brought this application forward, which will benefit Chatteris and safeguard these buildings.  He does take on board the views of the residents of Boadicea Court, but made the point that whatever you do someone is not happy, but the proposal needs to be looked at overall and he can see nothing to turn it down, with overshadowing of neighbouring properties not being a sufficient reason.  Councillor Benney stated that he fully supports the proposal.

·         Councillor Miscandlon fully endorses the proposal as development of this will improve the area and this is much needed.  He hopes the applicant is successful in what he is proposing.

·         Councillor Sutton echoed the views of previous two speakers.  He stated that Boadicea Court is a lovely cul-de-sac, with really smart properties and, in his view, this proposal will complement it. Councillor Sutton made the point that the Case Officer has worked with the agent and applicant to bring forward a suitable scheme and he congratulated officers for this.

·         Councillor Mrs Bligh stated that there are some beautiful buildings in Chatteris and for someone to use their own money to make the area better should be fully supported.


Proposed by Councillor Benney, seconded by Councillor Miscandlon and agreed that applications F/YR20/0780/F and F/YR20/0795/LB be APPROVED as per officer’s recommendation.


(Councillor Topgood had left the meeting for this item)


(Councillor Murphy declared, following advice from the Legal Officer he has a personal compromise on this application, and to avoid the suggestion of pre-determination and bias left the meeting for the duration of the discussion and voting thereon)


(Councillor Benney declared, as Portfolio Holder for Assets he was notified of a request for an easement over Fenland District Council land on this application)


(Councillor Benney declared, under Paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct on Planning Matters, that he is a member of Chatteris Town Council, but takes no part in planning matters)

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