Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance).
Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the erection of 8 flats and creation of car parking and amenity space following demolition of existing dwelling house.
The application site was located on the north side of Roe Green Close at the junction with College Lane. Roe Green Close formed a wider residential loop of properties featuring predominantly two storey dwellings with a number of bungalows set back from the highway behind grass frontages with consistent spacing between them.
College Lane was also a residential road which ran alongside the application site to the west. The University of Hertfordshire College Lane campus was located approximately 200m to the south. The site was on the edge of the buffer zone to Chalk Mining Area No.10 (Roe Green Dell).
The application site was located at the entrance of the estate and comprised a detached bungalow built of brick and tile with front and rear gardens. The dwelling had previously been extended with single storey side and rear additions.
This application was presented to the Development Management Committee because a Major Objection had been received from Hatfield Town Council and Councillor J.Broach had called-in the application.
Councillor J.Broach: Call-in submitted with the following comments:-
“I would like to call this application in as it is incredibly similar to the one recently refused by committee, and subsequently dismissed on appeal. My reasons are summarised below:
The proposal would be a substantial change in design, and runs the risk of giving the impression of being overbearing and overlooking to No. 3. I would therefore argue that this proposal constitutes overdevelopment, as per policy D2 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005 and also the Supplementary Design Guidance 2005.
I would also say this proposal contravenes item 71b of the NPPF, which states that new homes should be proportionate in size to existing settlements.
Turning to amenity space – with the mixture of double and single rooms in the flats, there is space for up to 20 people to reside in this development – an awfully high number to cram into the site of what is currently a family home.
Given the absolutely tiny garden space that has been provided on this proposal, I would argue that the applicant has failed in his duty to provide sufficient amenity space to potential residents of this proposal – which is a requirement in item 127f of the NPPF, which states that a high standard of amenity must be provided to users.
Looking at the design of the parking that has been provided, I would ask if a car reversing out of spaces 9-11 will actually be able to make a turn if spaces 5-8 are occupied? If not, this leaves a lengthy and potentially dangerous reversing manoeuvre of the users of spaces 9-11, and as such represents a poor standard of design.
I also note that parking space no 5 is directly next to the window of bedroom 2 of unit 2. Our planning policies state that parking spaces should not be located next to habitable rooms. Also, I would ask whether the occupant of said room will be able to open the window if the parking space is occupied.
I am happy for officers to refuse this under delegated powers if that is the recommendation.”
Hatfield Town Council had objected to the proposal on the following grounds:-
“Members consider there to be insufficient car parking spaces for the number of dwellings and bedrooms proposed. The height of the proposal will have a domineering impact on this particular aspect of Roe Green Close and College Lane. It will be overbearing on No. 3 and out of keeping with the other properties on Roe Green Close.”
P.Johnson spoke as an objector and said that the proposed application was overdevelopment, excessive in size and similar to the application recently refused by the Committee. The development would increase noise disturbance, parking pressures and rubbish and was out of character for the area. There were also concerns about the development being in a chalk mining zone.
Ward Councillor J.Broach spoke against the application, on the grounds of the effect on the amenity value for neighbours and that the design was overbearing. There were concerns that it was in a chalk mining zone.
(Note: Councillor J.Broach declared an interest and withdrew for this item – minute 52 refers).
Following discussion, it was proposed and seconded by Councillors S.Wrenn and A.Chesterman and
(7 voting for, 3 against and 2 abstention)
That planning permission be APPROVED subject to the conditions as set out in report with amended wording of Condition 11 as follows:
Condition 11: Prior to occupation of any part of the development hereby approved, the refuse and recycling storage shown on the approved drawing number 12370-P201-A is constructed, equipped with the specification of 1 x 1100 litre refuse container and 1 x mini recycling centre and made available for use. The refuse and recycling containers and storage must be retained permanently thereafter for the benefit of residents/occupiers of the building and must not be used for any other purpose.
REASON: To ensure a satisfactory standard of refuse and recycling provision and to protect the residential amenity of adjoining and future occupiers in accordance with Policies lM2, R5 and D1 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005; Policy SADM12 of the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council Draft Local Plan Proposed Submission August 2016; and the National Planning Policy Framework 2019.