Agenda and draft minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Wednesday 23rd September 2020 7.30 pm

Contact: Sharon Keenlyside 

Items
No. Item

37.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2020 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 26 February 2020 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

38.

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:

Councillor A. Chesterman declared a pecuniary interest in item 8 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.

 

Councillor F. Thomson declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 6 by virtue of the applicant being know to the Member and would withdraw for the duration of this item and not take part in any discussion or vote.

 

 

39.

6 BROADFIELD PLACE, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/2122/EM - ENLARGEMENT OF DRIVEWAY pdf icon PDF 418 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 a driveway.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the enlargement of a driveway.

 

The application was refused on the 11 November 2019 for the following reason:

 

“It is considered that the development would result in an unacceptable amount of hard landscaping, contrary to policy EM3 and EM4 which in turn would have an unacceptable impact on the appearance and ethos of the Garden City.”

 

The proposal sought Estate Management Consent to extend the existing hardstanding on the frontage.

 

The proposed hardstanding would replace the existing soft landscaped area and extend the existing hardstanding across the frontage.  Additionally 0.5m of the front boundary hedge would also be removed.

 

There was an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent.  The        appellant’s letter of appeal and supporting documents were attached at Appendix 1 and the original Officer’s report was attached at Appendix 2.

 

The key issue in the determination of this appeal was the impact of the proposed development upon the amenities and values of the Garden City.

 

The proposal would result in an unbalanced proportion of soft and hard landscaping at the property, detracting from the overall character of the area. In addition, the proposal would see the loss of some of the hedgerow at the front of the site, which cannot be justified in this instance. Furthermore, the loss of the hedgerow would result in the amount of hardstanding appearing more prominent within the street scene.

 

The appellant had provided photographic evidence of neighbouring properties with hardstanding areas. He highlighted that this cul-de-sac has an increasing number of vehicles requiring parking spaces. The property being positioned partly in the corner and angled has a relatively small frontage onto the street area compared with other properties.

 

Members felt that the area had lost a considerable amount of greenery and there was a great deal of hardstanding areas within this small place and therefore support the Officer’s recommendation. Concern was expressed in terms of historical unauthorised hardstanding areas. It was agreed that the Panel’s decision should be consistent. The Officer would look into the unauthorised hardstanding area and add these to the enforcement list.  Further concern was expressed in terms of enforcements being posed on residents who have purchased properties with unauthorised developments; especially in the current economic uncertainty.

 

A discussion ensued on the responsibility of this Panel and whether legal advice should be sought regarding enforcements.  Would it be possible to bring this matter to light during a sale/purchase of property searches during conveyancing? It was agreed that this matter be discussed at a Cross Party Group meeting.

 

(Note: Cllr F. Thomson had declared an interest and withdrew for this item. Minute 39 refers).

 

RESOLVED:

(Unanimous)

 

That Members uphold the delegated decision and dismiss the appeal.

 

40.

38 KIRKLANDS, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/1328/EM - FORMATION OF HARDSTANDING INCLUDING THE PARTIAL REMOVAL OF THE FRONT HEDGEROW AND REMOVAL OF A HOLLY TREE pdf icon PDF 367 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 a hardstanding which would include the partial removal of the front hedgerow and the removal of a holly tree.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the formation of a hardstanding which would include the partial removal of the front hedgerow and the removal of a holly tree.

 

The application (6/2019/1328/EM) 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 single storey detached dwelling and, at present, the house was accessed by a footpath to the street with the remainder of the frontage lined with a mature hedge. The remainder of the front garden being grassed with some significant mature trees and small areas of hardstanding. In addition, the front garden of the application site slopes down from the highway towards the main dwelling.

 

This area of Kirklands was verdant and characterised by mature trees and hedgerows typical of this area of the Garden City.

 

There was an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Scheme Consent for the removal of a section of hedgerow, a holly tree and the formation of an area of hardstanding within the front garden of the appeal site.  The appellant’s letter of appeal and revised proposal was attached at Appendix 1 and the delegated Officer’s report for application 6/2019/1328/EM was attached at Appendix 2.

 

The applicant proposed the removal of a 2.6m section of the front boundary hedgerow, however, due to the inaccuracy of the plans and the extent of the proposed engineering works there was concern that the development would result in the significant loss of these mature hedgerows along the front and side boundaries and create an area that would appear overly exposed.

 

The appellant had highlighted that he had received support from neighbours and the parking issues faced during the day and overnight were a result of residents from Knightsfield and staff from the local primary school parking along Kirklands. The appellant stated that the narrowness of the road and the school drop off and pick up times compounded the situation. It was accepted that parking in the area can at times be difficult, however, this was not considered significant enough to allow the excessive removal of the hedgerows and holly tree within the application site.

 

The appellant has also submitted revised drawings with the appeal. The revised scheme proposed significant alterations, however, they cannot be considered as part of the appeal. It was noted that the revised proposal was unlikely to receive Estate Management Scheme consent due to the size of the hardstanding across the front of the site and its  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.

41.

7 HOMESTEAD LANE, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2019/3098/EM - ERECTION OF A SINGLE STOREY REAR EXTENSION INCLUDING RAISING THE ROOF OF THE EXISTING OUTBUILDING TO CREATE A HABITABLE SPACE INCLUDING ALTERATIONS TO OPENINGS pdf icon PDF 336 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 single storey rear extension including raising the roof of the existing outbuilding to create a habitable space including alterations to openings.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the erection of a single storey rear extension including raising the roof of the existing outbuilding to create a habitable space including alterations to openings.

 

The application (6/2019/3098/EM) was refused for the following reason: 

 

‘The proposed extension and alterations to the outbuilding will result in a development which would dominate the rear garden of the application site. The proposed rear extension, combined with the existing outbuilding, will see the rear elevation extend over 10m from the main rear of the original building line and at its widest point, extend over halfway across the rear garden resulting in a disproportionate addition. In terms of outlook, neighbour amenity is likely to be affected due to the additional length and height of the proposal. As a result, the application fails to comply with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The subject property was a two storey mid-terrace property located on the eastern side of Homestead Lane.  The appeal site being set back from the highway behind a grass verge, pathway and relatively deep front garden. The rear garden of the property includes an attached outbuilding which is adjoined to a neighbouring building at 9 Homestead Lane. The rear garden backs onto the gardens of Homestead Court.

 

The key issue in the determination of this appeal was the impact the proposed installation would have on the character and appearance of the appeal site and the surrounding area.

 

The application sought Estate Management Scheme consent to raise the roof level of the existing outbuilding and erect a single storey rear extension at the back of the existing outbuilding to facilitate its conversion into a habitable space. Alterations to existing openings within the outbuilding were also proposed.

 

There was an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Scheme Consent to raise the roof of an existing outbuilding, alter existing openings within the outbuilding and erect an extension to the rear of the outbuilding to create a habitable space. The appellant’s letter of appeal and supporting documents were attached at Appendix 1 and the delegated Officer’s report for application 6/2019/3098/EM was attached at Appendix 2.

 

Members gave consideration to the size of the proposed development and it was felt that there would be an impact on neighbouring property; including loss of light and the site being over developed.  A discussion ensued on whether the development should be linear (proposal coming out approximately 10m from the back of the house) or the width of the house, as the overall percentage of the increase of floor space was not extensive.

 

The appellant had provided photographic evidence to support his proposal. The appellant stated that the proposed development was to create a downstairs toilet and day room to allow an elderly relative with a serious health condition to be cared for at the appellant’s home.

 

Whilst Members were sensitive to the appellant’s wishes, the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

184 HERONSWOOD ROAD, WELWYN GARDEN CITY - 6/2020/0154/EM - REPLACEMENT OF A FRONT DOOR pdf icon PDF 340 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 of a front door.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The application (6/2020/0154/EM) was refused for the following reason:

 

‘By virtue of the design and colour, the proposed front door would appear too modern and out of keeping within the neighbourhood, and therefore the application would fail to comply with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The subject property was a semi-detached property located on western side of Heronswood Road. The property currently has a white front door with two glazed panels within the top half of the door. 

 

The application sought Estate Management Scheme consent to replace the existing white front door and frame with a new white frame and dark grey front door. The door would feature four square glazed panels arranged vertically on the right hand side the door. A letter box being positioned at the bottom of the door.

 

There was an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Scheme Consent for the replacement of an existing front door.  The appellant’s letter of appeal was attached at Appendix 1 and the delegated Officer’s report for application 6/2019/0154/EM can be found at Appendix 2.

 

The appellant had produced a number of photographic examples of similar doors within the appeal site. However, only two of the photographs showed properties that have been confirmed as being in the Estate Management Scheme area (81 Howlands and 156 Heronswood Road). The locations of the properties shown in the photographs labelled jpg 1-5 were not identifiable. The examples from Bridge Road East (216, 218 & 224) and 143 Heronswood were of addresses that could not be recognised by the Council’s corporate mapping system so have been incorrectly identified and it is unclear if they are within the Estate Management.

 

It was confirmed that the majority of front doors were white within Heronswood Road and of a simple design and where not white these were of a more traditional design.  It was agreed that the proposed door would appear too modern and out of keeping within the neighbourhood resulting in a detrimental impact. Members stated that there was no similar door within the close vicinity of the proposed door property.

 

Members raised the issue of the letter box being located too low and it was agreed that there had been some legislation prohibiting the use of low-level letter boxes in the front doors of all new homes/new doors but this was not confirmed at the meeting.

 

The actual area of the Estates Management Scheme needs to be defined for future cases.  Members agreed that proposals for front doors have been debated in the past and there has been issues relating to type and colour of doors.  It was further agreed that the Design Guide which has been drafted but not finalised would ensure standardised outcomes.

 

RESOLVED:

(Unanimous)

 

That Members uphold the delegated decision and dismiss the appeal.

 

43.

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 12 (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.   

Minutes:

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 12 (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.   

 

44.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS OF A CONFIDENTIAL OR EXEMPT NATURE AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

A verbalupdate was provided to Panel Members with regards to arbitration cases and legal advice sought.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Members note the verbal report.