Agenda item

Land East of 20 Station Street, Chatteris
Reserved Matters application relating to detailed matters of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale pursuant to outline permission F/YR20/0081/O to erect 2-storey 3-bed dwelling

To determine the application.


David Rowen presented the report to members.


Members asked officers the following questions:

·         Councillor Miscandlon asked officers to clarify how much taller the proposed dwelling is, compared to the existing properties, for officers to conclude that the proposal is overbearing. David Rowen stated that the street scene drawing illustrates the height is consistent with the adjacent properties and the overbearing impact is more one of visual dominance over the properties on Wimpole Street in terms of the mass of building which would be at the bottom of their gardens. He added that with regard to number 20, which is the property closest to the proposal site, the concern is the dominance of the windows which are 2.5 metres away from the new dwelling when looking out of the first-floor windows.

·         Councillor Sutton stated that at the outline stage of the planning application, the applicant and the agent were advised that they needed to reduce the indicative layout to ensure it would comply with policy LP16 of the Local Plan. He added that they appear to have taken heed of that advice and now the current application still does not accord with a positive officer recommendation. David Rowen stated that at the outline stage of the application, issues were highlighted that would need to be addressed and whilst the applicant and agent have made attempts to do that officers are still of the view that there are still issues that should be addressed. Councillor Sutton expressed the view that he finds it confusing in the officer’s report that a suggestion has been made that a single-storey dwelling should be on the site and, in his opinion, he cannot see how a single storey dwelling would fit into the street scene.

·         Councillor Mrs French questioned how much more should the size and scale of the proposed dwelling be reduced before officers deem it acceptable.

·         Nick Harding stated that members need to be aware of the decision notice that accompanied the outline planning application and be mindful that it was an outline application with only access being approved in detail and everything else was a reserved matter and, therefore, officers did not and could not have given detailed pre-application advice effectively on the how exactly the indicative plan should be altered in order to make it acceptable to officers. He added that members need to decide whether the impacts on the adjacent properties are or are not acceptable and whether or not members agree or disagree with the officer’s recommendation.


Members asked questions, made comments, and received responses as follows:

·         Councillor Benney stated that he is familiar with the property and it is a large site although it looks a small plot because everything around it is big. He expressed the view that the proposal fits on the plot and it already has outline planning permission and it is not a 2-storey building it is a 1 and a half storey building and a bungalow on the site would not be suitable and would look out of character. Councillor Benney stated that, in his opinion, the proposal is a compromise which will fit very well in the street scene and added that a house on the site would look out of place and the proposal will enhance the area and tidy it up.

·         Councillor Murphy stated that there appears to be no objections to the proposal from Station Street or Chatteris Town Council and added that from the comments in the officer’s report it appears that the proposal seems to be welcomed and it states will cause no undue harm to the heritage asset. He stated that he cannot understand why the proposal is recommended for refusal and it should be approved, and the proposal would not be out of character.

·         Nick Harding stated that there is an objection to the proposal from a neighbour and he added that the recommended reason for refusal relates to the impact that the development would have on the amenity of the neighbouring dwellings. Councillor Murphy stated that he had referred to their being no objections from the occupiers of Station Street.

·         Councillor Cornwell stated that it is a tightly developed area, in his opinion, and he cannot see that the proposed development will make it any worse. He expressed the view that there is not a lot of overlooking even though the area is tightly developed and, in his view, the proposal will not have an impact on the area.

·         Councillor Miscandlon referred to 5.4 of the officer’s report where local residents and interested parties were consulted and added that design and appearance are a personal perception as to whether you like or do not like something. He added with regard to loss and outlook, the view is either a building site or a house next door and, in his view, that point has no credibility. Councillor Miscandlon expressed the view that loss of light is not a reason for refusing an application as, in his opinion, nobody has the right to light unless they live in a historic building. He added that with regard to the visual impact, any new building is going to have an impact on the local area as that is what new houses do. Councillor Miscandlon expressed the opinion that the house is not overbearing in its size and he cannot see anything which will have an impact on the local residents. He added that he will be voting against the officer’s recommendation to approve the application.

·         Councillor Connor stated that you are entitled to light, but you are not entitled to a view.

·         Councillor Sutton stated that on Wimpole Street there are several houses who have large trees in the rear of their properties, and he added that he does not see that the loss of light would cause demonstrable harm, agreeing that the application should be approved as the area around the proposal site is already built up.


Proposed by Councillor Miscandlon, seconded by Councillor Skoulding and agreed that the application be APPROVED against the officer’s recommendation, with delegated authority given to officers to determine appropriate conditions, in consultation with the Chairman.


Members did not support the officer’s recommendation of refusal as they feel that it will not have a detrimental effect on the local amenities as outlined in the letters of objection.


(Councillor Benney declared, under Paragraph 14 of the Code of Conduct on Planning Matters, that he is a member of Chatteris Town Council Planning Committee, but was not present when the item was discussed.)


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

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