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Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 26th September 2013 APP/13/00677: Land Adjacent to 16 Lingdale Road, West Kirby, CH48 5DQ – To sever the curtilage and erect 1 no. detached dwelling together with associated works
The Chair, Cllr Bernie Mooney asked a Council officer called Cheryl to summarise the report. The officer said that the application was in a conservation area of large detached houses. In the officer’s view it was of an acceptable design. She said there was a condition for obscured glazing, that officers had recommended it for approval but there was a qualifying petition.
The Chair invited a representative of the petitioners to talk to the Planning Committee for up to five minutes. The petitioner introduced herself as Kate Evans of 15 Lingdale Road. She and the petitioners felt it was an alien design and overdevelopment of the site. On the petitioner’s behalf three drawings were passed to the Planning Committee to illustrate their objections. She felt it was out of context with the arts and crafts theme of the Conservation Area as well as too modern and too big. In her opinion the modern windows were at odds with the character of the rest of the road.
Kate Evans said that one of the drawings demonstrated their concerns about the dominant gable as well as their concern about the eaves line. During the site visit, the petitioners thought that the ground levels were incorrect by over a metre and they’d been told that the levels would be checked before the Planning Committee meeting. The petitioners wanted to make sure the street profile was maintained and felt that approval of the planning application would cause harmful damage to this.
The Chair invited the applicant to speak. A Matthew Ashton of the applicant’s agent (MgMaStudio Ltd) spoke on behalf of the applicant Mr. Norman Cowley. Mr. Ashton said that as the architect he had designed the scheme and there had been no objections from the statutory consultees. He requested that they endorse the case made in the officer’s report. He explained the reasons why Mr. Cowley wanted to build the property and how in his opinion that the proposed design drew upon the character of the Conservation Area. Following a meeting with the petitioners, they had revised their proposal to deal with their representations. He reassured the Planning Committee that the drawings were to a high quality and he believed that the design would be a positive contribution to the street scape and Conservation Area.
No ward councillor addressed the Planning Committee. The Chair referred to the comments made on overdevelopment, ground levels and materials. Cllr David Elderton said that the site visit had been helpful and asked for the display of the site plan on the screen. He referred to the roof levels of the proposed property in relation to the neighbouring properties. His first question was about the distance from the proposed house to the fence line and the adjacent property. He referred to his forty years working in the construction industry and although he felt the design was acceptable, his concern was the size which he believed was overdevelopment.
Matthew Davies replied that the distance to the boundary was 2.4m and the distance to the adjacent house was 5.6m. Cllr Elderton asked a question about windows. Matthew Davies answered that there was a kitchen window on the ground floor and a bedroom window at first floor level. Cllr Elderton said that if the property was built, there would be a large wall only 5 metres away from the adjacent property, with the fence halfway between the two. Matthew Davies said this was correct.
Cllr Elderton asked about the roof lines compared to the neighbouring properties. An officer called Cheryl said that the drawings submitted showed the relationship with the properties on either side. If there were different levels to those on the plans submitted, then even if the planning application was approved, there would have to be a further application before it could be constructed. She pointed out that condition eight asked for proper levels, if there was any error it would be picked up and enforcement action could be taken.
Cllr Elderton said they had established it was no higher than the ridge line of adjacent properties and about the same height if not lower. Cllr Simon Mountney expressed confusion at retrospective action over ground levels. Cheryl again referred to condition eight and said that it was in their control to discharge that condition, if a thorough survey showed different levels they would ask for another application to rectify the variance.
The Chair said that it was a huge development that was closer to the property on the left than the applicant’s property which troubled her on the site visit. Cllr David Elderton said that he would propose rejecting the application on the basis that the relationship with adjoining properties would result in overshadowing and overbearance because of its size. Its height and setting would be harmful to the amenities of the adjoining dwellings and would be contrary to policy HS4 of Wirral’s Unitary Development Plan. Cllr Irene Williams seconded his proposal for refusal.
There was a vote and councillors voted as follows.
In favour of refusal: Cllr Bernie Mooney, Cllr David Elderton, Cllr Stuart Kelly, Cllr Wendy Clements, Cllr Anita Leech, Cllr Simon Mountney, Cllr Irene Williams, Cllr Paul Hayes, Cllr Brian Kenny and Cllr Eddie Boult (10)
Against refusal: Cllr Denise Realey and Cllr Joe Walsh (2)
Abstention: Cllr Christina Muspratt (1)
Application APP/13/00677 was therefore refused (10:2:1).
Continues at Planning Committee (Wirral Council) 26th September 2013 APP/13/00866: 151 Victoria Road, New Brighton, CH45 9LB – Change of use of a property from a single residence to a house of multiple occupation to provide 12 bedrooms with communal kitchen, living rooms and bathrooms. Also to include alterations to windows to the front elevation.
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