Agenda and minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Thursday 18th October 2018 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Helen Johnson 

Items
No. Item

14.

TRIBUTE TO COUNCILLOR M.PERKINS

Minutes:

The panel stood for a minute’s silence in memory of the Leader of the Council Mandy Perkins who sadly passed away on 29 September 2018. The Chairman asserted that Mandy was a good friend and that it was a great loss to the community.

15.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 15 August 2018 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting on 15 August 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

16.

DECLARATION 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:

The Committee noted that Councillor M.Cowan had a non-pecuniary interest in respect of item 8 on the agenda, 44 Beechfield Road.  Councillor M.Cowan had brought to the Council’s attention the breach of the Estate Management Scheme by 44 Beechfield Road and subsequently would be absent for that section of the meeting.

17.

11 LADY GROVE WELWYN GARDEN CITY AL7 4DS - 6/2018/0776/EM - ERECTION OF A FRONT PORCH, ALTERATION OF ELEVATIONS AND THE REMOVAL OF A FRONT HEDGE pdf icon PDF 412 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the erection of a front porch, alterations of elevations and the removal of a front hedge.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the erection of a front porch, alterations of elevations and the removal of a front hedge.

 

In particular the proposal sought to erect a porch with a new front door on the front elevation and to replace an existing door on the side elevation with a window.

 

The properties within Lady Grove followed a pattern in that, the front entrances were often located on the side elevations of semi-detached and end of terrace dwellings in the street.

 

The key issue in the determination of the appeal was the impact of the proposed development upon the amenities and values of the Garden City contrary to Policy EM1. 

 

Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme (EMS) stated that extensions and alterations would only be allowed where the works were in keeping with the design, appearance, materials and architectural detail used in the existing building, and would not harm the amenities and values of the area.

 

The application was refused on the 29 May 2018 for the following reason:

 

“The proposed front porch and the part removal of front boundary hedge would not be in keeping with the host dwelling, the area and its immediate context and would be detrimental to the amenities and values of the existing area.  Accordingly, the proposal is contrary to Policy EM1 of the Welwyn Garden City Estates Management Scheme”.

 

The appellant stated in their letter of appeal (Appendix 2 of the report) that the existing hedge was uneven, did not match the neighbours hedges and some properties had no hedge at all.  Creating a porch over the existing door on the side elevation of the property would restrict access to their garage and impose on the shared driveway. 

 

The appellant was in attendance and, in addition to the points made in their letter of appeal, said that:

 

      The same case officer handled the original application as well as the appeal, and thus was biased.

      Other properties in the area had been granted permission to alter their front porches.

 

The Chairman advised the appellant that the case would have been dealt with fairly and the Panel highlighted the following points:

 

      Properties which had been granted permission were designed as a block and therefore did not set a precedent.

      Creating a porch at the front of the property could restrict parking further as well as causing asymmetry of the semi-detached block of which the property was part of.

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

 

The Panel encouraged the appellant to revisit their designs to make another application that was more acceptable to the EM Scheme.

 

It was moved by Councillor A.Chesterman, seconded by Councillor M.Cowan and

           

RESOLVED:

(unanimously)

 

That the Members uphold the delegated decision and dismiss the appeal.

18.

31 HOWICKS GREEN, WELWYN GARDEN CITY AL7 4RJ - 6/2018/1329/EM - REMOVAL OF CHIMNEY STACK pdf icon PDF 415 KB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the removal of a chimney stack.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

31 Howicks Green was a two storey end of terrace dwelling with a pitched roof and within a row of three dwellings, situated on a corner plot. Howicks Green was located off Howlands and characterised with semi-detached and terraced properties with many having regularly spaced brick built chimneys.

 

The key issue in the determination of the appeal was the impact of the proposed development upon the amenities and values of the Garden City contrary to Policy EM1.

 

The application was refused on the 29 May 2018 for the following reason:

 

“The demolition of the chimney stack is considered to be inappropriate and out of keeping with the style of the host dwelling and this part of Howicks Green. The proposed development would detract from the character and appearance of the host dwelling and neighbouring properties and fails to maintain and enhance the amenities and values of this part of the Garden City and is therefore not compliant with policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme and the Council’s approach to roof alterations”.

 

The appellant stated in their letter of appeal (Appendix 1 of the report)  that other properties within the area had removed chimneys, such as No. 4 Howicks Green and No. 218 Howlands.

 

The Officer’s view was that there was no EM application history with regards to the two addresses and no compelling justification given to support the application. No additional evidence or information had been put forward by the appellant which would alter the Officer’s recommendation.

 

The appellant was in attendance and said before the Panel that:

 

      It was the first time she had seen written documentation which explained the reason her application had been refused.

      She accepted that the proposal would harm the character of the area but the area as whole had been comprised anyway.

      There were no objections from her neighbours.

 

Councillor J.Weston made a representation and told the Panel that:

 

      The EM Scheme and its subsequent enforcement was inconsistent: Chimneys had been removed in the vicinity of 31 Howicks Green without consent.

      Without consistent enforcement residents would perceive the EM Scheme as unfair.

      The EM Scheme was poorly managed by the Council and there had been poor communication. No decision letter had been sent out to the appellant and they had believed that the Certificate of Lawfulness was consent.

      An Officer had told the appellant that it would take time and money to appeal and they could guarantee that she would not get permission.

 

The Chairman advised that the properties who had removed chimney stacks did not have consent and would subsequently be passed onto Planning Enforcement.

 

The Development Management Service Manager advised those present of the following:

 

      The Certificate of Lawfulness applied to permitted development and not the EM application.

      The usual process  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.

19.

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 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) to update Members with outstanding arbitration cases that were put before the Panel, up to and including 4 October 2018.

Minutes:

The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) updated Members with regard to outstanding arbitration cases that were put before the Panel, up to and including, on 4 October 2018.  The following cases were noted:

 

251 Knightsfield

 

Erection of single storey rear extension without EM consent, commence June 2013.

 

A retrospective application for EM consent was submitted in September 2018 along with a planning application to endeavour to remedy the breaches of the EM scheme and planning control, both of which were with Planning Support and awaiting validation.

 

72 Chequers

 

Removal of front hedge and creation of hardstanding; date of breach unknown but reported in August 2012. 

 

The case had been referred to the President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to appoint an arbitrator to determine the case in accordance with paragraph 8 of the EM Scheme. An update on progress would be provided at the next meeting.

 

19 Fearnley Road

 

Extension to driveway to form 70% hardstanding in front garden and the removal of front boundary hedge; date of breach unknown but reported in April 2016.

 

No retrospective EM application had been submitted. The owner had presented the enforcement officer with a scheme of proposed actions to rectify the current breach. The owner was told in September 2018 that the scheme was not viable. It was requested that the Head of Planning be authorised to refer the matter to be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the President of the RICS, in accordance with paragraph 8 of the EM scheme.

 

11 The Moors

 

Erection of single storey rear extension, reported in August 2016.

 

The certificate of lawfulness application was with the Planning Officer and pending decision, due September 2018. Authority was given at EMAP meeting in October 2017 to commence arbitration for the EM decision and once a decision had been reached the arbitration letter would be re-issued to the owner.

 

88 Pentley Park

 

New raised beds, steps and walls and hardstanding to the front of the property. Complaint received in April 2016.

 

Pre-application advice had been provided by a Planning Officer and the owner would be contacted to ascertain their intentions. An update would be provided at the Panel’s next meeting. 

 

3 Digswell House Mews

 

A retrospective EM application for a roof light on the front roof slope had been refused.

 

An application had been made to the President of the RICS to appoint an arbitrator to determine the case in accordance with paragraph 8 of the EM scheme. An update on progress would be provided at the Panel’s next meeting.

 

37 Linkfield

 

Installation of solar photovoltaic panels to the front and rear roof slopes of the property. Breach was reported in January 2017.

 

The owner submitted an appeal against the decision which was upheld by the Panel in August 2018.  It was requested that the Head of Planning be authorised to refer the matter to be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the President of the RICS, in accordance with paragraph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.