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Disclosures of Interest
In accordance with the Council's Code of Conduct, councillors are reminded that it is a requirement to declare interests where appropriate.
The following disclosures of interests were made:
The Planning Code of Conduct requires any councillors who have been lobbied, received correspondence, or been approached by an interested party regarding any planning matter to declare this at the meeting at which the matter is being considered. Councillors should declare if they have been lobbied at this point in the meeting.
The following lobbying declarations were made by councillors:
All councillors present had been lobbied but had expressed no view on application CR/2023/0391/FUL.
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Planning Committee held on 24 July 2023.
The minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 24 July 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
To consider report PES/437aof the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to REFUSE.
The Committee considered report PES/437a of the Head of Economy and Planning which proposed as follows:
Retrospective single storey rear extension and loft conversion with hip to gable and dormer extensions including retention of alterations to windows, doors, roof tiles, tile hanging (amended description).
Councillors Ali, Jaggard, Nawaz, and Pritchard declared they had visited the site.
The Principal Planning Officer provided a verbal summation of the application, which sought permission for the redevelopment of a bungalow on St Mary’s Drive in Pound Hill. The works had already been undertaken, and so the application was retrospective. The Officer then gave details of the various relevant planning considerations as set out in the report.
E Hairani, a neighbour of the site, spoke in objection to the application. Matters raised included:
· The extension was overly large and dominant. The grey roof tiles did not match the semi-detached neighbouring house.
· Issues had arisen regarding the property’s boundary and damage to a brick wall on the driveway.
· If permission were to be granted, it could set a precedent for allowing similar works (i.e. larger extensions and differently-coloured roof tiles) for neighbouring properties.
Mirza Zamal, a neighbour of the site, spoke in objection to the application. Matters raised included:
· The applicant had removed hedges between neighbouring properties, which had caused disagreement between neighbours.
· Communication with the applicant was limited and had caused confusion about the level of works being undertaken.
· The works had caused further issues such as boundary encroachment, the erecting of a bollard on a shared driveway, and access to rear garden gates.
Josh Healey, the applicant, spoke in support of the application. Matters raised included:
· Pound Hill’s streetscene had a wide variety of housing in different styles, shapes, colours and sizes.
· The works on the property blended sympathetically with the local streetscene, so should be considered compliant with Local Plan policies CH2 and CH3.
· There were many properties in the local area which had similar features, such as grey roof tiles and grey window frames, some of which had been granted planning permission in recent years.
Kevan McCarthy, Ward Councillor for Pound Hill North & Forge Wood, spoke in support of the application. Matters raised included:
· There was no consistency in the style of houses on St Mary’s Drive and surrounding roads. Many properties had been built or extended over the years and the streetscene had been constantly changing.
· There were many other properties with white rendering in the area and/or with grey roof tiles and window frames.
· If the application were to be refused the works would be required to be reverted, which would be costly and wasteful.
Justin Russell, Ward Councillor for Pound Hill North & Forge Wood, spoke in support of the application. Matters raised included:
· The local area had undergone several phases of development which had led to a varied mix of properties along St Mary’s Drive. This property did not stand out as having a negative impact on the streetscene.
· Many bungalows in the area had been extended ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To consider report PES/439 of the Head of Economy and Planning.
RECOMMENDATION to CONFIRM.
The Committee considered report PES/439 of the Head of Economy and Planning which sought to determine whether to confirm the Tree Preservation Order (TPO) – Trees at Kenilworth Close - 05/2023 – with or without modification for continued protection, or not to confirm the TPO.
Councillor Ali declared he had visited the site.
The Group Manager (Development Management) provided a verbal summation of the application, which related to a group of six oak trees and one lime tree in Kenilworth Close in Broadfield. The trees were considered to be in good health and make a strong contribution to the visual amenity of the streetscene. In March 2023 the trees were protected under a six month provisional TPO, which the Committee was now requested to confirm.
The Committee then considered the application. A Committee member raised a concern about the potential safety hazards raised by an individual whose garden contained one of the trees subject to the order. The Officer confirmed that the debris that had been described as falling off the tree was deadwood, which can be removed from a protected tree without the need for permission from the Council. It was also clarified that a TPO did not prevent further works to the trees from taking place; an application could be made to the Council and an appropriate level of works would be determined.
Following a query from a Committee member regarding the owners of the trees, the Officer confirmed that the tree situated in the garden of 22 Kenilworth Close was owned by the homeowner, while the trees situated alongside the road were owned by Kenilworth Management Company. It was highlighted that anyone with concerns about the trees should first approach the owner, who could make an application for works. Alternatively an application could be made by any other individual, with any approved application then presented to the owner to arrange for the carrying out of the works.
Committee members discussed that as part of the TPO process, an enquiry to the Local Planning Authority about a tree’s status can result in a TPO being made to protect that tree. Some felt that the process might be perceived as being unfair. Others highlighted the importance of protecting trees across the borough. The Officer clarified that the procedure must be followed as set out in legislation, and that the process also allowed any interested party to fairly voice their opinion about a TPO.
The Committee suggested that clearer information could be provided to residents regarding the TPO process. It was heard that interested parties did receive documentation setting out the relevant information upon the making of a provisional TPO, but this could be examined with a view to making improvements.
The Committee then moved to a vote.
Confirm, without modification.