Agenda and minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Thursday 17th October 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Council Offices, The Campus, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE

Contact: Sharon Keenlyside 

Items
No. Item

15.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS

To note any substitution of Panel Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.

Minutes:

The following substitution of panel Members were made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules:

 

Councillor J.Cragg for H.Bower.

 

In the absence of the Chair, the Panel appointed Councillor F.Thomson as Chair for this meeting only, -proposed by Councillor M.Cowan and seconded by Councillor B Fitzsimon. The vote was unanimous.

16.

APOLOGIES

To note any apologies.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor H.Bower.

17.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 14 August 2019 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting on 14 August 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

18.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS

To note declarations of Members’ disclosable pecuniary interests, non-disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in respect of items on this Agenda.

Minutes:

Ward Councillor F.Marsh declared an interest in Item 6 on the agenda – 8 Picketts, Welwyn Garden City – 6/2019/1460/EM – Formation of Hardstanding and would be speaking on behalf of the appellant. Councillor F. Marsh confirmed he would withdraw from the meeting for the duration of the item and not take part in the debate or vote.

 

19.

8 PICKETTS, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1460/EM - FORMATION OF HARDSTANDING pdf icon PDF 626 KB

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the formation of hardstanding.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) set out the appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) consent for the formation of hardstanding. The application was refused on 7 August 2019 for the following reason:

 

‘’The proposed development would result in the loss of soft landscaping and removal of hedgerow to the front of the dwelling, making the hard standing appear unduly prominent within the street scene, which would adversely affect the character and appearance of the property and street scene, detrimental to the amenities and values of this part of the Garden City, contrary to Policies EM3 and EM4 of the Estate Management Scheme.”

 

The site contained a two storey, mid-terraced dwelling, located on the east side of Sherrards. The row of terraced properties, including the appeal property itself, featured soft landscaping to the front of the site, with hedgerows along the boundary treatment.  The front of these properties were visible within the street scene.

  

The application was to extend the existing hard standing within the front of the garden and remove 3.4m of the existing hedgerow along the front boundary.  The proposed hard standing would measure approximately 3.4m in width and 5.0m in depth.  The hedgerow would also be reduced from 4.4m in width to 1m.

 

A case had been advanced by the appellant in support of their appeal which included photographs but that no substantial additional evidence or information has been put forward by the appellant which adds to or would alter the Officer’s recommendation

 

A neighbour representation had been received from No.3 Picketts, which was in favour of the scheme. 

 

Ward Councillor F.Marsh spoke on behalf of the appellant saying that the appellant had sought to improve her application and had reduced the proposed hardstanding depth to 4.8 metres and would remove 3.0 metres of hedgerow instead of 3.4 metres. Not all of the houses along the road had hedgerows and the proposed hardstanding would be a practical solution to the problem of congestion and parking along the road.

 

(Note: Councillor F.Marsh declared an interest and withdrew for this item – minute 18 refers).

 

Members felt that despite the concessions the appellant had made to the depth of hardstanding and the loss of hedgerow, the impact on amenity was still too great.

 

Members suggested that Officers contacted Parking Services regarding the problems of car parking in the road and the possibility of creating additional on street parking.

 

Members wanted to continue communication with the appellant regarding the application to see if a suitable compromise could be made.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors A.Chesterman and L.Musk.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(Unanimously)

 

(1)  That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

 

(2)  Officers to work with appellant to find an acceptable solution.

 

(3)  Officers would speak to Parking Services about creating additional on street parking in Picketts.

 

20.

12 THISTLE GROVE, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1919/EM - ERECTION OF A FENCE FOLLOWING THE REMOVAL OF A HEDGE pdf icon PDF 487 KB

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the erection of a fence following the removal of a hedge.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) set out the appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) consent for the erection of a fence following the removal of an existing boundary hedge. The application (reference: 6/2019/1919/EM) was refused on the 10th September 2019 for the following reason:

 

The loss of the hedge to the front of the dwelling would result in an unbalanced frontage with excessive hard landscaping which would erode the immediate character of Thistle Grove and the surrounding Garden City. Accordingly, the proposal would be detrimental to the values and amenities of this part of the Garden City contrary to Policies EM3 and EM4 of the Estate Management Scheme.”

 

The appeal site was a two storey end terrace dwelling house, located on the western side of Thistle Grove. The property was located in a row containing four properties. The front of this terrace, and the appeal property itself, was open to views from the public highway. 

 

The applicant’s proposal was for the erection of a boundary fence at the front of the property, to replace the existing hedgerow. The proposed fence would measure approximately 4ft in height and extend across the full length of the northern side of the frontage, as well as a small section across the front. 

 

No neighbour representations had been received.

 

Overall, it was considered that a compelling case had not been made by the appellant to demonstrate why the circumstances advanced by the occupants of this particular property, when considered in its context, should override the wider values and amenities of Thistle Grove and the surrounding street scene.

 

Members asked for clarification on the representations received from Cadent Gas Limited. Officers confirmed that Cadent Gas had operational apparatus within the site boundary and dependent on what work was being undertaken may need to take action. In this case, it was unlikely to be a concern as there were no excavation works to take place.

 

Members felt that fencing on the site was inappropriate and that the hedge should be reinstated.

 

Members raised a concern about a small area of fencing on a nearby Council owned property. Officers would contact the Enforcement Team to have it removed.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors B.Fitzsimon and J.Cragg.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(Unanimously)

 

That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

 

 

 

21.

16 ROUNDWOOD DRIVE, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2018/1230/EM - REPLACEMENT GARAGE DOOR pdf icon PDF 510 KB

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for replacement garage door.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the replacement of the garage door at the property. The application (6/2018/1230/EM) was refused for the following reason: 

 

The design and colour of the garage door is out of keeping with the character and appearance of Roundwood Drive and it fails to maintain the values and amenities of the Garden City. Accordingly, the garage door is not in accordance with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The subject property was a two storey detached dwelling house located on the southern side of Roundwood Drive, opposite its junction with Reddings. The property was a double fronted dwelling with an integral gable and was sited towards the eastern flank boundary of the plot. As well as the garage, the property had parking for two cars on its driveway. 

 

The street scene comprised of detached dwellings with a variety of architectural features of varying sizes in large plots.

 

The application sought retrospective Estate Management consent for the replacement of the garage door at the property. The garage doors as installed were centrally opening and were grey stained timber with black vertical handles. They matched the front door at the property.

 

Late representation from the appellant’s neighbour had been received in support of the appeal. The appellant’s statement had been circulated to Members via email having been missed off of the agenda.

 

The Chairman allowed the appellant, Mr N. Southey, to speak in favour of his appeal, despite not having registered to speak by the deadline. The appellant raised the following points:

 

·         The garage doors are made of steel and cannot be painted. They matched the front door which already had Estate Management Scheme (EM) permission.

·         The architect wrongly advised that permission was not necessary.

·         If the garage door was replaced with another door of a different colour and style, it would not match the front door and would look unsightly.

 

Members felt that the appeal should be allowed as permission had already been granted for the front door and it would look out of keeping to replace the garage door with a design and colour that differed from the front door.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors L.Musk and F.Marsh.

 

RESOLVED:

 

(6 in favour and 1 against)

 

That Members allow the appeal, contrary to Officer recommendation, and subject to the following conditions:

 

CONDITION 1: All works carried out in pursuance of this consent shall be and remain part of the Premises and shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the conveyance in all respects as if such works had at all times formed part of the Premises.

 

REASON: To comply with the requirements of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 Estate Management Scheme for Welwyn Garden City.

 

CONDITION 2: This consent or copy hereof shall be annexed to the Conveyance.

 

REASON: To comply with the requirements of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 Estate Management Scheme  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.

22.

87 UPLANDS, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1502/EM pdf icon PDF 431 KB

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the erection of a front porch, internal alterations and expansion of hardstanding.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the erection of a front porch, internal alterations and expansion of hardstanding. The application (reference: 6/2019/1502/EM) was refused on 1 August 2019 for the following reasons:

 

The proposed front porch would appear as an incongruous addition to the front of the property that would fail to respect the character and appearance of the existing property, row of terraces and street scene.  Accordingly, the proposal would harm the values and amenities of this part of the Garden City, contrary to Policy EM1 of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme”.

 

Because of the amount of hardstanding proposed, together with the loss of the hedgerows at the site, the result would be an inappropriate amount of soft landscaping being retained at the site which would erode the character of the street scene and have an adverse impact on the visual amenities of this part of Uplands. Accordingly the proposal fails to maintain the values and amenities of the Garden City, contrary to Policies EM3 and EM4 of the Estate Management Scheme.

 

The appeal site, No.87 Uplands was a terraced dwelling on the south side of Uplands.  The site frontage was presently part soft and part hard landscaped with a hedgerow on part of the front boundary and hardstanding across the remainder of the garden boundary leading up to the front of the house.

 

The report noted that a case had been put forward by the appellant, in support of the appeal but that no significant new evidence or information has been put forward which adds to or would alter officer’s recommendation.

 

Late representation was received in support of this appeal. Officers and Members also received late representations of new drawings. However, the drawings did not form part of this appeal.

 

Members felt that the proposed porch and hardstanding were out of keeping for the area.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors F.Marsh and M.Cowan:

 

RESOLVED:

 

(Unanimously)

 

That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

23.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Panel is asked to resolve:

 

That under Section 100(A)(2) and (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be now excluded from the meeting for items 12 and 13 (if any) on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of confidential or exempt information as defined in Section 100A(3) and Paragraphs 5 (privileged and legal advice) and 6 (statutory notice or order) Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the said Act (as amended).

 

In resolving to exclude the public in respect of the exempt information, it is considered that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.   

24.

UPDATE ON OUTSTANDING ENFORCEMENT CASES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENFORCEMENT ACTION UNDER THE TERMS OF THE MANAGEMENT SCHEME FOR WELWYN GARDEN CITY FOR BREACHES OF THAT SCHEME

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) updates Members with regard to outstanding arbitration cases that have been put before the Panel as well as additional cases for consideration.

 

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) updated Panel Members with regard to outstanding arbitration cases that had been put before the Panel as well as additional cases for consideration.

 

(Note: A more detailed record of the Panel’s decision is contained in the exempt Minute 26).

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the contents of the report and the new cases.