To determine the application.
David Rowen presented the report to members.
Members received a presentation, in accordance with the public participation procedure, from Shanna Jackson, the agent.
Mrs Jackson stated that the application is for the construction of 4 dwellings on land to the rear of 42 Tavistock Road, Wisbech, with the dwellings taking the form of 2 pairs of semi-detached houses, positioned in the extended rear garden area serving the existing property and the site represents a great opportunity to provide 4 affordable family homes within Wisbech Town centre. She stated that the site is in a prime location which is within walking distance to education, retail, employment, and health services in the town, which she feels is a rarity, and each plot will be provided with a generous rear garden and two parking spaces, with a large garden and sufficient parking also remaining to serve the host dwelling at number 42.
Mrs Jackson explained that concerns have been raised in the committee report that the proposal would be out of keeping with the character of the area, however, from the submitted site plan the scale and layout of each plot is entirely commensurate with the existing development to the south along Colvile Road. She added that, in addition, she would argue that the glimpses of the dwellings you would see from the Tavistock Road frontage would not be harmful, instead they would appear very typical of a town centre location such as this.
Mrs Jackson pointed out that concerns have also been raised with regards to there being an overbearing impact as a result of the proximity of the dwellings to the south western boundary, however, the rear garden areas serving the properties along Colvile Road and Trafford Park are approximately 20m and 10m long respectively and are separated by fencing and landscaping and the length of these gardens and the fact that the roofs of the dwellings will be fully hipped provides a significant amount of visual relief from the rear aspect of the neighbouring houses. She expressed the view that the situation is no worse than that at the Trafford Road/Colvile Road junction located to the south east of the site.
Mrs Jackson stated that the application is supported by Wisbech Town Council and no objections have been received from County Highways or FDC Environmental Protection Team. She added that there have also been no objections to the principle of the development or to the design or general appearance of the proposed dwellings.
Mrs Jackson expressed the opinion that the proposal represents a rare opportunity to provide 4 new family homes within Wisbech Town Centre where there are significant sustainability benefits, and she asked the committee to agree and approve the application accordingly.
Members asked questions, made comments, and received responses as follows:
· Councillor Skoulding stated that he agrees with the officer’s recommendation.
· Councillor Mrs French stated that she also agrees with Councillor Skoulding and added that, in her view, she believes that the application is over development. She made the point that she does take the views of Town and Parish Councils very seriously, but on this occasion, she agrees with officers.
· Councillor Connor stated that he agrees, the committee must be consistent, it is over development and he will not support the proposal.
· Councillor Mrs Davis stated that she will support the officer’s recommendation and expressed the view that the development will have a serious impact on the residents of Trafford Road and Colville Road, with this proposal for four dwellings being in the wrong location.
Proposed by Councillor Skoulding, seconded by Councillor Mrs Davis and agreed that the application be REFUSED as per the officer’s recommendation.
(Councillor Sutton had left the meeting prior to this application and any remaining applications being considered)