Agenda and draft minutes

Estate Management Appeals Panel
Wednesday 18th August 2021 7.30 pm

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

Contact: Vanisha Mistry 

Items
No. Item

1.

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:

 

Councillor S.Elam for Councillor J.P.Skoczylas

Councillor N.Pace for Councillor F.Thomson.

2.

APOLOGIES

To note any apologies.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors F.Thomson and JP.Skoczylas.

3.

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 24 March 2021 (previously circulated).

Minutes:

The Minutes of meeting held on 24 March 2021 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

4.

8 VALLEY ROAD, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, AL8 7DF - 6/2020/2478/EM - INSTALLATION OF TWO FRONT ELEVATION DORMER WINDOWS pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) setting out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the installation of two dormer windows within the front roof slope of 8 Valley Road.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) setting out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the installation of two dormer windows within the front roof slope of 8 Valley Road.

 

The report noted that No.8 Valley Road was a two storey detached property located on the western side of the street. The property had an open frontage with areas of hardstanding and soft landscaping. The property occupied a prominent position with the street scene.

 

The application sought Estate Management Scheme consent to install two dormer windows within the front elevation of the main building.  An application to install similar front dormer windows was submitted in 2018 and subsequently refused due to the impact they would have upon the property and the wider street scene.

 

The current application was refused on the 10 December 2020 for the following reason: 

 

“Although the windows would mirror glazing bar pattern of the existing windows, it is considered that the introduction of front dormer windows would detract from the simple, unaltered and uninterrupted roof form of the existing dwelling, which would disrupt the uniformity amongst the dwellings of similar design within this locality. The proposed dormers are considered an incongruous addition that would be unduly prominent and result in a harmful impact upon the original design of the house and the wider street scene. As a result, the application fails to comply with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme.”

 

It should be noted that the associated planning application was also refused but allowed on appeal on 24 June 2021.

 

To support their appeal, the appellant referenced the design statement submitted with the original application that identified a number of properties within Welwyn Garden City that had similar front facing dormers. However, the majority do not have a record of the change and it could be considered either part of the original home or unauthorised additions. There were two properties that had front facing dormers granted consent under the Estate Management Scheme:

      50 Church Road – two front dormers approved in 1997.

      53 Parkway – single front dormer approved in 2005.

 

The appellant had stated that comments from the refused applications in 2018 had been incorporated into the design, scaling and placement of the dormers within the application and that this had not be reviewed and considered by the officer. The officer report acknowledged that the proposed dormers would be equally spaced and located to align with the vertical spacing between the ground and first floor windows. However, front dormers can only be considered acceptable in areas where it can be demonstrated that they are a common feature within the street scene. Although the appellant has offered examples from across the wider area, it was considered that front dormers were not a common feature within this area of Valley Road.

 

A planning application for the front dormers was allowed at appeal, however the inspectorate made this decision based on local and national planning policy which  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

59 MARSDEN GREEN, WELWYN GARDEN CITY, AL8 6YD - 6/2021/0889/EM - RETROSPCTIVE APPLICATION FOR THE RETENTION OF NEW HARDSTANDING SURFACE INCLUDING INCREASE TO CREATE AN ADDITION CAR PARKING SPACE pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) setting out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the retention of a new hardstanding surface which included an increase in size to create an additional car parking space.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) setting out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the retention of a new hardstanding surface which included an increase in size to create an additional car parking space.

 

It was noted that No.59 was a two storey mid-terrace property located on the eastern side of Marsden Green. The properties within Marsden Green were of similar design with either a garage forward of the main house or a garage integrated into the main building. No. 59 is the latter and as a result benefits from an existing driveway.

 

This was an appeal against the refusal of retrospective Estate Management Scheme consent to retain a new block paved hardstanding surface upon the original driveway and for an increase in size across the front garden to create an additional parking space.  The new area of hardstanding incorporated this existing driveway and had been extended to the right to include an area that was previously soft landscaped garden. As a result, hardstanding covered approximately 77% of the front garden and would allow off street parking for three cars.

 

To support their appeal the appellant had submitted an appeal statement which discusses how Policy EM4 is interpreted and has provided twenty four examples of other properties with large hardstanding within the neighbourhood surrounding Marsden Green.

 

The appellant stated that within Policy EM4 (hard landscaping), proposals for new hard surfacing to a front garden is defined as alterations to soft green landscaping and that existing areas of hard landscaping should not be considered in the assessment of proposals for additional areas of hard surfacing. Policy EM4 states:

 

Proposals for hard surfacing, for the parking of private vehicles in front gardens will only be allowed where the works would retain an appropriate balance between hard and soft landscaping and do not result in the loss of any existing hedgerows or landscaping along the boundary, other than the minimum required to access the hard standing, that would be harmful to the amenities and values of the street scene in which it is located.

 

The appellant had submitted photographs of other homes within Marsden Green, Marsden Close, Springfields, Heather Road and Marsden Road, all within the locality of the application site, that have hardstandings that cover all or the majority of the front garden. Of the twenty four examples submitted, twenty one have no record of Estate Management Scheme consent being granted and three have Estate Management Scheme consent.

 

The three examples given of hardstandings that benefit from Estate Management Scheme consent have varying degrees of coverage but all are in excess of the preferred coverage:

    43 Springfields – near total hardstanding coverage with front boundary hedgerow removed. Side boundary hedgerows retained. Received EMS consent in January 2016.

    49 Springfields – large majority of the front covered with hardstanding with a small area of landscaping to the front corner. Small front hedge retained/established. Received EMS consent in August 2014.

    51  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

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 items 10 and 11 (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:

 RESOLVED:

 

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 10 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.

7.

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

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) updating Panel Members with regard to outstanding arbitration cases that had been put before the Panel as well as additional cases for consideration.

Minutes:

Exempt report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) updating Panel Members with regard to outstanding arbitration cases that had been put before the Panel as well as additional cases for consideration.

 

RESOLVED:

 

Members noted the contents of the report and the new cases.

 

(Note: A more detailed record of the Panel’s discussion is contained in the exempt Minute 7a).