Agenda and minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Thursday 14th June 2018 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Helen Johnson 

Items
No. Item

1.

APPOINTMENT OF CHAIRMAN

The Cabinet at their meeting on 5 June 2018 will appoint the Chairman of the Appeals Panel for the 2018/19 municipal year.

Minutes:

It was noted that the Cabinet on 5 June 2018 had appointed Councillor S.Glick as Chairman of the Panel for the 2018/19 municipal year.

 

The Chairman welcomed new Members and welcomed back returning Members and thanked Councillor T.Mitchinson for substituting. 

2.

SUBSTITUTION OF MEMBERS

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

 

Minutes:

The following substitution of a Panel Member had been made in accordance with Council Procedure Rules 19-22:-

 

Councillor T.Mitchinson for Cllr H.Bromley.

3.

APOLOGIES

To note any apologies.

Minutes:

Apology for absence was received from Councillor H.Bromley.

4.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 19 April 2018 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting on 19 April 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

5.

4 THE COMMONS, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, AL7 4RP - 6/2018/0205/EM - ERECTION OF FRONT PORCH pdf icon PDF 359 KB

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

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.

 

The appellant’s letter of appeal was attached at Appendix 1, and the original Officer’s report for application reference 6/2018/0205/EM, was attached at Appendix 2.

 

The report noted that the appeal property was a two storey, mid terrace dwelling located centrally on the west side of The Commons.  The property, along with the two other terrace dwellings which it adjoined, were designed with distinctive and symmetrical architectural features (such as fenestrations, chimneys and door surrounds).  The appeal property did not have a front porch and included a door surround painted white with a small flat overhang. The architectural detailing was replicated on both of the two adjoining properties in that row of terraces. All of these features could be viewed from the street and contributed positively to the character and appearance of the appeal property and the row of terraces and surrounding street scene. 

 

Members were informed that, in contrast, the proposed front porch would be brick built and enclosed and would extend across a large proportion of the front of the house and project beyond the existing front of the house.  It would appear as a large and bulky addition, completely at odds with the architectural appearance of the existing front door and an incongruous addition that would fail to maintain the values and amenities of the appeal property, the row of properties it was located in and the amenities and values of the Garden City.

 

The Appellant attended the meeting and stated the following:

 

      Other porches had been granted consent.

      That the proposed porch had taken the appearance other porches into account and was designed in keeping with the existing dwellings.

      That the proposal was in keeping with the existing front porches of properties Nos. 3, 5, 7 and 9.

      That consent had been granted for a side extension at No.6 which visually changed the terrace.

      That the porch would be below the height required for planning permission.

 

In response, Officers reiterated that each case must be considered on its own merits and Members strongly agreed that porches in nearby streets did not set a precedent and moreover, those at properties Nos. 3, 5, 7 and 9 were part of the original design.

 

In addition, Members noted that the porch was below the height required for planning permission under permitted development but this did not apply with the Estate Management Scheme.

 

Members had every sympathy for the Appellant for going through the correct process of making an Estate Management application and appearing before the panel but not meeting the right criteria for consent.  Moreover, many residents modified their properties without consent and this understandably create a sense of injustice and frustration. That said, Members noted, in many cases residents had to remove modifications to their property retrospectively which cost money and also residents could have  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

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 6 MB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) which updates Members with regard to outstanding arbitration cases that were put before the Panel, up to and including, on 19 April 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 19 April 2018.

 

73 Walnut Grove

 

Formation of hardstanding in front garden. A compliance site visit on 21 May 2018 confirmed works had been completed that satisfactorily remedied the breach of the Estate Management Scheme. The case was recommended for closure.

 

251 Knightsfield

 

Erection of single storey rear extension. The applicant recently submitted an appeal against the decision in October 2014 to refuse consent to the retrospective application.  The appeal was subsequently withdrawn and the applicant asked for time to negotiate with Officers.  A pre-application request was received in May 2018 and Officers were in discussion with the property owner. The Committee urged a swift resolution.

 

72 Chequers

 

Removal of front hedge and creation of hardstanding. Application to be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the President of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in accordance with paragraph 8 of the Management Scheme of Welwyn Garden City.

 

19 Fearnley Road

 

Extension to driveway to form 100% hardstanding in front garden and the removal of front boundary hedge.   Ongoing contact between the Enforcement Officer and the owner with the intention that a retrospective Estate Management application for a modified scheme would be submitted which would comprise of approximately 47% soft landscaping and the reinstatement of front hedging.

 

56 Broomhills

 

Removal of front hedge and formation of hardstanding. A site visit was carried out on 31 May 2018 which confirmed the hedge had been planted on the front boundary. The width of new hedge was not as wide as what was previously there however it would in time, soften the appearance of the hardstanding and allow for two cars to park on the hardstanding. Case recommended for closure.

 

Members were reminded by Officers of the Council’s policy requirement for approximately 50% soft landscaping on a residential frontage. It was noted that the reason for the refusal of 56 Broomhills was solely related to the removal of the hedge. The nearly 100% hardstanding remained in situ.   There were similar unauthorised hardstanding at 10 other properties in Broomhills and 22 properties in nearby Daniels and the view of the Panel was sought by Officers on how to proceed with the wider issue.

 

The following ideas on how to proceed were raised by Members:

 

      All residents with nearly 100% hardstanding in situ could be written to and asked rectify the situation so that approximately 50% soft landscaping be present on a residential frontage.

      That the residents in question be required to submit an application and regularize the situation.

      That design advice ought to be made available to residents.

      That each breach be looked at on a case by case basis. A higher percentage of hardstanding might be required for those with disabilities and for those with garages and footpaths (as there would be only 25% remaining on the frontage for soft  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.