Agenda and minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Thursday 15th June 2017 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Gurdip Paddan 01707 357349 Email: democracy@welhat.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN:

The Cabinet at their meeting on 12 June 2017 to appoint a Chairman of the Panel for the 2017/18 municipal year.

Minutes:

It was noted that the Cabinet on 12 June 2017 had appointed Councillor S. Johnston as Chairman of the Panel for the 2017/18 municipal year.

 

2.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS:

To note any substitution of Members made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.

 

Minutes:

The following substitutions of Panel Members had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22.

 

Councillor J. Cragg for J. Beckerman

 

Councillor N. Pace for T. Mitchinson

3.

APOLOGIES:

To note any apologies.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J. Beckerman and T. Mitchinson.

4.

MINUTES:

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meetings held on 29 September 2016, 2 November 2016 and 26 January 2017 (previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 29 September 2016, 2 November 2016 and 26 January 2017 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

5.

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 M. Cowan declared a non-pecuniary interest in item 9 in respect of 38 Furzefield Road, Welwyn Garden City.

6.

56 BROOMHILLS WELWYN GARDEN CITY AL7 1RD - W6/2015/0739/EM - RETENTION OF VEHICLE HARDSTANDING, NEW PATHWAY AND SHRUBBERY: pdf icon PDF 497 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the retention of landscaping works.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the retention of landscaping works.  The application (W6/2015/0739/EM) was refused on the 27 April 2017.

 

The application was refused due to the retention of the landscaping works which had taken place, by virtue of the inappropriateness of the balance of soft and hard landscaping and the removal of the front facing hedgerow screening would harm the values and amenities of the street scene.  The frontage results in visually prominent car parking in contrast with the rest of the street which, for the most park, retains soft landscaping screening of parked vehicles.  No justification, individual circumstances or other considerations had been put forth which would outweigh the identified harm.  Accordingly, the proposed retention of the landscaping works conflicts with the aims, targets and purposes of policies EM3 and EM4 of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme.

 

The report noted that the appellant’s grounds of appeal began with the length of time taken to make a decision in this case.  However, it was accepted that the delay in reaching a decision was too long.  Whilst this application had taken a long time to be decided, the delay did not affect whether or not a proposal or proposed retention in this case complied or conflicted with relevant polices.

 

The key issue in the determination of this appeal was the impact of the landscaping works on the amenities and values of the surrounding area and Welwyn Garden City.

 

The appellant was in attendance and advised the Panel that other properties in the area had high hedges and very small hedges, fences and shrubs of some description and photographic evidence of properties had been provided. The Panel heard from the appellant that when they put in the driveway they specifically ensured that they balanced the hard and soft landscape with planting a hedge in between their house and their neighbour’s and also other green shrubbery.

 

Members expressed concern regarding the hedges within the locality that had been removed without permission and that action needed to be taken.  Members upheld the original refusal of consent for these works. A discussion ensued which focussed primarily on the need to re-instate a hedge to the front of the property and that if this was undertaken, the remaining works were likely to be acceptable. It was suggested that officers re-engage with the applicant to try and achieve this outcome.

 

It was moved by Councillor M. Cowan, seconded by Councillor N. Pace and

 

            RESOLVED

            (unanimously)

 

            That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

 

7.

42 SPRINGFIELDS, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, AL8 6XN - 6/2016/1982/EM - REPLACEMENT OF FRONT DOOR: pdf icon PDF 478 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for a replacement front door.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

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

 

The application was refused on the 22 February 2017 for the following reason ‘The proposed alteration to the colour of the front door would be detrimental to the appearance of the subject property, the surrounding street scene and the values and amenities of Welwyn Garden City; contrary to Policy EM1 of the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme’.

 

The report noted that the existing front door in the appeal property was white in colour and hosted a mid-level obscure glazed panel.  The colour of the door was consistent within the terrace and majority of doors in Springfields and contributed to the values and amenities of the street scene.  It was felt that there needed to be uniformity in appearance of dwellings be maintained in particular those features that were visible from the street frontage.  The main concern was not the appearance but the colour, as the proposed door was in black.

 

It was noted Officers had contacted the appellant advising a white or lighter, pastel colour door of the same design as the proposed would be acceptable, unfortunately no amendments were received.

 

The key issue in the determination of this appeal was the impact of the proposed door on the values and amenities of the surrounding area.  The impact on the residential amenity of adjoining occupiers was considered to be acceptable.

 

Members upheld the original refusal of consent for the replacement front door. The main issue here was the colour and members noted that, whilst other properties in the vicinity of the site may have different coloured doors, there was a group of properties in this part of Springfields all of which featured a white door. The Panel concluded that this appearance should be maintained.

 

It was moved by Councillor F. Thomson, seconded by Councillor N. Pace and

 

            RESOLVED

            (unanimously)

 

            That the delegated decision be upheld and the appeal dismissed.

 

8.

81 BUSHEY LEY, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, AL7 3HF - 6/2016/2444/EM - CONVERSION OF LOFT WITH INSTALLATION OF DORMER TO THE REAR AND ROOF LIGHTS TO FRONT ELEVATIONS: pdf icon PDF 501 KB

Report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the conversion of the loft and the installation of a rear facing dormer and roof lights to the front elevation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Consent for the conversion of the loft and the installation of a rear facing dormer and roof lights to the front elevation.

 

The application was refused for the following reasons:

 

1. The rear dormer window is unacceptable by virtue of its extent, siting and dominant appearance on the rear roof slope of the dwelling which is overtly visible from the street scene of Bushey Ley and Dodwood. The dormer would result in a visually discordant and incongruous feature that would be detrimental to the appearance of the streetscene, failing to maintain and enhance the amenities and values of the Garden City in accordance with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme.

 

2. By virtue of the proposed number, siting and appearance of the roof lights they would form an uncharacteristic addition to the front roof slope of the property that, given the visibility of the front roof slope this would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the application property and the street scene. The proposal would fail to maintain and enhance the values and amenities of Welwyn Garden City contrary to Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme.

 

The key issue in the determination of this appeal was the impact of the development on the amenities and values of the surrounding area.  The impact on the residential amenity of adjoining occupiers was judged to be acceptable.

 

It was noted that the appellant had made reference to property numbers 50, 56 and 68 located on Great Ganett, as these properties featured rear facing dormer windows, these were located on a different street approximately 250m away and were not visible neither were they immediately close to the host site. Officers advised that these properties did not set a precedent within Bushey Ley and surrounding area.  With regard to the front facing roof light, these were not a typical feature within the street scene of Bushey Ley.  The main concern was the impact of roof lights on the appearance of the terrace of properties which would be visible from Bushey Ley.

 

Whilst the appellant had suggested the removal of the front facing roof lights which would be a positive benefit to the scheme.  The Panel were advised that no alterations had been proposed to the dormer window, which would harm the values and amenities of the Garden City as outlined above.

 

Additionally in order to be able to manage the amount of requests for roof alterations and energy efficiency measures together with alterations to windows and doors it was felt that a design guide be created, as this would help applicants.

 

It was noted that recent all over hardstanding areas at various locations in Great Ganett, some of which had been referred to by the appellant and may have been constructed without consent should be investigated by Officers.

 

Members upheld the original refusal of consent. Members considered that smaller dormer windows  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

UPDATE ON PROGRESS WITH ARBITRATION CASES: pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Report to update Panel Members on the status of arbitration cases that were put before the Panel on 26th January 2017.

 

Minutes:

The report of the Executive Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) updated the Panel with regard to arbitration cases that were put before the Panel on 26 January 2017.

 

            RESOLVED:

 

73 Valley Road – the removal of the hedge to be investigated before closing the case. The applicant submitted a wood stain to resolve the UPVC fascia board issue.

 

26 The Croft – The owner has opted for a retrospective application to retain at least part of the hardstanding area.  Still awaiting the submission of the application.

 

251 Knightsfield – to be determined by an arbitrator.

 

31 Sandpit Road – A suitable hedge has not been reinstated and Officers to investigate before closing the case.

 

72 Chequers – The owner was in contact with the Council to resolve the issue.  Update will be provided at the next meeting.

 

176 Heronswood Road – The Enforcement Team currently monitoring to ensure the replacement chimney is implemented.

 

104 Cole Green Lane – The case to be closed.

 

19 Fearnley Road – Awaiting revised scheme from the applicant for the Council to consider.

 

38 Furzefield Road – The site being monitored to ensure that the landscaping is completed within the approved timescales.

 

The Panel expressed their thanks to the Enforcement Team for their work on 73 Valley Road in particular.

 

 

 

 

Meeting ended at 8.10pm

GP