Agenda item

20190834 - Garage Block south of Rembrandt Drive, Northfleet- Revised Description and Plans

Decision:

Resolved that application 20190834 be REFUSED on following grounds that the proposal was contrary to local and national planning policy and the benefits of the proposal (most significantly relating to the provision of affordable housing) did not outweigh the wider harm to the street scene and potential impact on the existing mature Sycamore tree on the site.

Minutes:

The Board considered an application reference 20190834 in relation to the demolition of 2 garages and erection of a 1 one bedroom bungalow on Rembrandt Drive, with off street car parking and a private rear garden.

The Principal Planner (Major Sites) introduced the application and advised that the site formed part of the wider post war housing estate which was originally constructed as council housing with a number of the properties being purchased through right to buy. The character of the area was predominately two storey dwellings, either terraced or semi-detached, with open space characterising the junctions of roads. It was advised that the site was too small to be included within the amenity greenspace quantitative figure and as such the site provides visual amenity to the area as opposed to recreational use.

The application proposed to demolish the existing lock up garages which were a neutral feature within the street scape and to build on the green space which was a key characteristic of the wider estate. The site was constrained by the mature tree on the site. As a consequence of the small plot size and the existing mature tree on the site, the proposed dwelling appeared as a crammed form of overdevelopment which failed to respect the building line on either Rembrandt Drive or Constable Road. As such, whilst the proposed dwelling physically fitted on the site, the proposal would alter the character of the area with the construction of a dwelling on this site. It would have a cramped appearance causing material harm to the street scene. It was therefore considered that the proposal would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area and as such the proposal would be contrary to local and national planning policy and the application was not supported.

The Board was advised that 72 individual comments and petition signed by 96 people had been received during the course of the application. All of material planning considerations raised by third parties had been fully considered during the evaluation of the proposal.

It was noted that the applicant had sought to address the concern regarding third parties accessing Kipling Community Hall and surrounding rear garages by increasing the width of the access way from 3.08m to 4.72m. Whilst this addressed an issue, it also raised a concern regarding the impact of the dwelling on the existing mature sycamore tree.

The application was before the Board because the Local Planning Authority was the applicant.

The Board heard the views of the public speakers who answered questions from Members.

The following points were made during discussion on this application:

·         A concern was raised as to whether the alterations to the access of Kipling Hall made it viable for the users of the Hall and it was confirmed that the access would now be viable for users including the scout group who had minibuses etc.

·         Members were advised that movements in and out of the access were usually of a limited nature and took place throughout the day, early in the morning and late in the evening. Use of the access was more frequent during the summer school holidays.

·         A Member noted that regardless of the outcome of the debate, it might be appropriate to improve the access to Kipling Hall including the possible extension of the existing dropped kerb so that vehicles could avoid driving over the verge.

·         The Board noted that the proposal did not match the building lines of neighbouring properties and did not fit with the character of the area.

Resolved that application 20190834 be REFUSED on following grounds that the proposal was contrary to local and national planning policy and the benefits of the proposal (most significantly relating to the provision of affordable housing) did not outweigh the wider harm to the street scene and potential impact on the existing mature tree on the site.

(Cllrs Conrad Broadley, Harold Craske, Brian Francis, Gary Harding, Jordan Meade, Brian Sangha, Lauren Sullivan and Frank Wardle requested that their votes in support of the recommendation be recorded.)

Note:   (a)        Mr Simon Doherty (Applicant)(a supporter) addressed the Board.
            (b)        Ms Anna Kadziolka (Architect)(a supporter) addressed the Board.
            (c)        Mr Andy Treadwell (an objector) addressed the Board.

Supporting documents: