Agenda and minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Wednesday 26th February 2020 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Campus East, Welwyn Garden City, Herts, AL8 6AE. View directions

Contact: Sharon Keenlyside 

Items
No. Item

25.

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.:

 

CouncillorM.Holloway for L.Musk.

26.

APOLOGIES

To note any apologies.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received from Councillor L.Musk.

27.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2019 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2019 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

28.

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:

CouncillorM.Cowan declared a pecuniary interest in item 11 by virtue of owning a nearby property and would withdraw for the duration of this item and not take part in any discussion or vote.

29.

I STONEMEAD, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1853/EM - REMOVAL OF A CEDAR TREE pdf icon PDF 620 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 removal of a cedar tree.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public, Planning and Governance) set out the appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the removal of a cedar tree.

The application was refused on the 20February 2018 for the following reason:

 

“The work request is inappropriate and would result in the loss of landscaping that would harm the character and amenities of the area; contrary to Policy EM3 (Soft

Landscaping) of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme.”

 

The tree in question was a mature cedar growing within the front garden of 1 Stonemead, Welwyn Garden City.

 

Stonemead was a minor residential road. The road consisted of grass verges with trees, several of which were mature coniferous and hardwood species located within front gardens. The multiple cedars and hardwood species added to the characteristics of the local area.

 

The proposal sought consent for the removal of a cedar tree located to the front right of the property (if looking from the road).

 

A neighbour’s representation had been received which supported the removal of the tree. No specific reasons were given, within the correspondence, for the support of the application.

 

No additional evidence or information had been put forward by the appellant which would add to or alter the Officer’s recommendation.

 

Ms D Beetlestone spoke on behalf of the appellant saying that she lived in a neighbouring property and the cedar tree was planted as a sapling 40 years ago. The owners who planted it had not realised at the time how unsuitable it was to be planted so close to the property. A tree surgeon had been consulted and had informed her that the tree was only suitable in large gardens and parklands. The appellant would like to replace it with a small tree.

 

Members suggested that a compromise could be found by sympathetic management of the tree. The Council’s Tree Officer advised that he had consulted with a tree surgeon and the tree could be carefully pruned to retain its shape and if the lower branches were trimmed, it would let more light in to the property.

 

Members suggested that the appellant submit a new application to reduce the size of the Blue Cedar, subject to sympathetic management of the tree.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors Fiona Thomson and Malcolm Cowan.

 

RESOLVED

(6 in favour and1 against)

 

That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

30.

45 WREN WOOD, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/2170/EM - REPLACEMENT AND ENLARGEMENT OF HARDSTANDING pdf icon PDF 664 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 replacement and enlargement of hardstanding in the front garden of the property.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) set out the appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the replacement and enlargement of the hardstanding in the front garden of the property. The application was refused for the following reason:

 

The reduction in the amount of soft landscaping and the corresponding increased level and prominence of the hardstanding in the front garden of the property would harm the character and amenities of the property, the street scene and the GardenCity. The proposal is therefore harmful to the amenities and values of WelwynGarden City and is contrary to Policy EM4 of the Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The subject property was a mid- terrace dwelling in a narrow and deep plot located

on the north western side of Wren Wood. The property was set back from the back edge of the pavement by around six metres while the front garden was around 70% laid as hardstanding with grass growing between the spaced paving stones in the front right hand area of the garden. There was a hedge on the north eastern boundary of the property, though this only extended to the front half of the front garden. There was no hedge across the front of the property.

 

The street scene comprised terraces of dwellings of various lengths which provided a fairly uniform appearance to the street. A number of the properties on the road had hedges along part of their frontages. A number of properties had 100% (or very close to) hardstanding in their front gardens.

 

The application sought the replacement and enlargement of the hardstanding at the property. The proposal would result in less than 10% of the front garden remaining as soft landscaping with only a small area of lawn close to the front of the two storey element of the dwelling. The full frontage of the property would remain open and there would be no hedging or planting along it.

 

A late representation of photographic evidence had been received from the appellant.

 

Mr D. Speed, appellant, spoke in favour of his appeal saying that there was a problem with parking in the area. Other roads had parking on both sides but this was not the case for Wren Wood. The proposal would improve the image of the property and many neighbouring properties already had hardstanding. The garage was unsuitable for modern cars and visitors were unable to park close to the property. The shrubs and laurel hedge would remain.

 

Ms Sennett spoke as an objector saying, that she was not opposed to the proposal but did have concerns. She felt that the laurel hedge could be pruned back by 18 inches but 50% of the soft landscaping should be left intact. The garage was suitable for a mid-sized car. The impact of the kerb being dropped would be the loss of a car parking space for other residents. There would be a reduction of light, additional noise disturbance and fumes if  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

1 YOUNGS RISE, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1490/EM - ENLARGEMENT OF EXISTING HARDSTANDING WITH ALTERATIONS TO THE BOUNDARY TREATMENT TO INCLUDE A SECOND ACCESS AND CROSSOVER pdf icon PDF 828 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 enlargement of the existing hardstanding with alterations to the boundary treatment to include a second access and crossover.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), sets out the appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) consent for the enlargement of the existing hardstanding with alterations to the boundary treatment to include a second access and crossover. The application was refused for the following reason:

 

The reduction in the amount of soft landscaping in the front garden and the loss of part of the hedgerow to form a further vehicular access together with the excessive amount of hardstanding would be out of keeping with the character and appearance of the property and street scene. The proposal would fail to maintain the values and amenities of this part of the Garden City contrary to Policies EM3 and EM4 of the Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The subject property was a semi- detached dwelling in a large and triangular shaped plot at the junction of Youngs Rise and Handside Lane. The property was set back from the back edge of the pavement by around six metres while the front garden was around 50% laid as hardstanding. The front boundary comprised a hedge to a height of up to around two and a half metres with a gated driveway and a gated pedestrian access to the property.

 

The application sought the enlargement of the existing hardstanding with alterations to the front boundary treatment to include a second vehicular access and crossover. The proposal would result in a loss of around one metre of hedgerow from the front boundary.

 

Mr D.Craig spoke as the appellant saying that the existing hardstanding only allowed for one vehicle in front of the garage. Visitors had to park on the street which was difficult with the parking restrictions. Cars could not access the property without the need for the other car to be moved out on to the road.

 

Members felt that the proposal would harm the street scene in what was a lovely green area.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors A.Chesterman and B.Fitzsimon.

 

            RESOLVED

            (Unanimous)

 

            That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

32.

4 HITHERWAY, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/0713/EM - RETENTION OF A 6FT BOUNDARY FENCE pdf icon PDF 385 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 retention of a 6ft boundary fence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), sets out the appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) consent for the retention of a 6ft boundary fence. The application was refused for the following reason:

 

The fencing, by virtue of its overall height, siting and design, detracts from the character and appearance of the property and the amenities of the street scene, an impact is exacerbated by the prominence of the site within the cul-de-sac.

Accordingly, the proposal fails to maintain the values and amenities of this part of the street scene contrary to Policies EM2 and EM3 of the Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The subject property was a two storey semi-detached dwelling within a small cul-de sac.

The application site was located to the side of an access drive and garage forecourt. A low fence (approx. 1m) runs along the front of the site and returns along the northern boundary until it meets the section of 1.98m fencing, which was the subject of this appeal. Upon the front boundary the low fence was screened by a hedgerow.

 

The application sought retrospective Estate Management Consent for the erection of

a 1.98m (6ft) high fence which was located along part of the side boundary. No existing plans had been provided to show the boundary prior to the installation of the replacement fence, however, photographs submitted with the original application showed an approx. 0.9m (3ft) fence with sparse hedge behind.

 

Mrs.S.Babalola, appellant, spoke for the application saying that the main reason for putting in an appeal was concerns for safety. She would be worried allowing her children outside without the safety of a fence. The public footpath near the property attracted a lot of people. It was extremely difficult to grow a hedge. The previous owners had tried for 20 years to grow a hedge to no avail.

 

Members agreed that the safety element was important and felt that the fence would be more acceptable if it was painted green. They also felt that some of the fence could be moved and that the small fence could be removed as there was a hedge present on the other side of it. Members encouraged the appellant to reapply with these compromises.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors F.Thomson and M.Cowan

 

            RESOLVED

 

            That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

33.

11 CRANBORNE GARDENS - 6/2019/1448/EM - RETENTION OF HARDSTANDING AND ERECTION OF REPLACEMENT FENCE pdf icon PDF 384 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 retention of hardstanding and the erection of a replacement fence.

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 retention of hardstanding and the erection of a replacement fence. The application was refused for the following reason:

 

‘The proposed development would result in an excessive amount of hardstanding and a total absence of soft landscaping which together with the proposed fence would erode the street scene and be harmful to the values and amenities of the application site and this area of Welwyn Garden City. As a result, the proposal would fail to maintain the values and amenities of the Garden City and comply with Policies EM2, EM3 and EM4 of the Estate Management Scheme.’

 

The subject property was a mid-terraced dwelling in a cul-de-sac of similar properties which formed an enclosed street scene around a green.

 

The majority of dwellings on Cranborne Gardens had areas of hardstanding in their front gardens, which in some cases were quite large due to the limited depth and width of the gardens and these had begun to alter the character and appearance of the street scene. Front boundary hedgerows between properties were a common feature.

 

The application sought retrospective consent to retain a block paved hardstanding, which covered 100% of the front garden, and a 1.2m wooden fence along the boundary with 12 Cranborne Gardens.

 

Mr T.Reilly, appellant, spoke for the application saying that the original driveway was asphalt which was unsafe and crumbling away. The new surface was a vast improvement. He was not told that the property was under the EMS when he was buying the property. 

 

Members encouraged the appellant to reapply and work with officers to submit a proposal with soft landscaping around the edge of the hardstanding.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors A.Chesterman and F.Marsh

 

RESOLVED

(6 in favour and 1 against)

 

That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

 

 

34.

12 LYTTON GARDENS, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1703/EM - INSTALLATION OF A GLASS CANOPY ABOVE THE FRONT DOOR pdf icon PDF 355 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 installation of a glass canopy above the front door.

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 installation of a glass canopy above the front door. The application was refused for the following reason:

 

‘The proposed development would be an unsuitable addition to the house as it would not be in keeping with the design, appearance and architectural detailing used in the existing building or those in the immediate vicinity. As a result the proposal would have a detrimental impact upon the amenities and values of the dwelling and surrounding area. The application, therefore, fails to comply with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme’

 

The subject property is a detached chalet style dwelling located on the northern side of Lytton Gardens and set among a street scene of similar buildings. The application site is slightly set back from the road behind an area of lawn and a driveway. The driveway extends along the right hand side of the building to the front door which is set within the eastern side elevation of the property, therefore not facing the road.

 

The application sought consent to install a glass canopy above the front door. The canopy would be 0.9m deep, 1.6m wide and 13mm thick and held in place by steel stays fixed to the building above the canopy and attached to the glass at an approx. 45 degree angle.

 

(Note: M.Cowan had declared an interest and withdrew for this item. Minute 28 refers)

 

Members agreed that there were no other glass canopies in the area and they felt it would be out of keeping for the period house and street scene.

 

It was proposed and seconded by Councillors A.Chesterman and B.Fitzsimon

 

            RESOLVED

            (Unanimous)

 

That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

35.

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 item 14 (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.   

36.

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

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.

 

RESOLVED:

 

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