Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance).
Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the conversion of Northaw House to form 11 apartments (including refurbishment of existing single caretaker’s flat) and underground parking area, the ballroom wing to form 2 dwellings, the stable block to form 1 dwelling, refurbishment of existing dwelling at Oak Cottage, 3 dwellings within the walled garden, 7 dwellings within the settlement area, refurbishment of the walled garden, refurbishment of access routes and reinstatement of old route, provision of hard and soft landscaping, car parking and supporting infrastructure.
The site consisted of a block of land of some 10.5 hectares with the eastern boundary abutting the Conservation Area of Northaw. The local area was characterised by mature woodland, but Northaw House was located on a small ridge, and therefore enjoyed extensive views, in particular to the east across the valley of the Cuffley Brook.
Northaw House (including the Main House, West Wing, Ballroom Wing and Conservatory) and the Stable Block are separately listed Grade II buildings. Northaw House was built in the Post-Restoration style in 1698 with two-storey painted brickwork elevations over a basement, and was seven bays wide, with a three bay pediment and three sets of quoins on the front elevation. The second floor was set within a mansard roof. The house was much extended and embellished during the 18th and 19th centuries. Later additions included the West Wing, Ballroom Wing, Porch and Conservatory. The two-storey Stable Block was built in the mid-late 18th century in red brick with a slate roof and a domed turret in the centre of the roof. The curtilage included a number of buildings and a walled garden.
Northaw House was listed Grade II in 1972. There were informal grounds to the front and rear of the building, and which flanked the present entrance driveway, from Coopers Lane to the west. The main façade of the house could be seen from Judges Hill to the north, on the top of the rise. Within the grounds there were a number of outbuildings, which included a gardener’s cottage (Oak Cottage), a substantial walled garden and, to the east, a stable building which was listed Grade II in its own right.
This application was presented to the Development Management Committee because it had been advertised as a departure from the development plan and Northaw and Cuffley Parish Council had submitted a Major Objection.
Northaw and Cuffley Parish Council had raised a major objection to the proposed development for the reasons set out below:-
“The publicly available viability assessment is not sufficiently detailed to enable third parties to be in a position to make a judgement as to whether the extent of enabling development is reasonable. Whilst it is recognised that the parties to that assessment are proven professionals, the global figures in the published document are insufficient to enable third parties to take an informed view. The siting and design of the proposals within the walled garden and the settlement area are incongruous and out of character with existing buildings. Development should be phased such that the renovation should be done first. We expect there should be a S106 contribution.”
Mr Williamson, applicant, spoke for the application saying that the development had the approval of English Heritage and he wanted to thanked Officers for their work on this and 5 previous proposals. The only objection to the 2009 application was the demolition of the Edwardian block which would now be retained.
Northaw and Cuffley Parish Councillor, J.Brook, spoke against the application, presenting the Parish Council’s objection that the siting and design within the walled garden was incongruous and did not reflect the form of existing buildings and that the development did not include affordable housing.
Following discussion, it was proposed and seconded by Councillors P.Hebden and C.Juggins and
That planning permission be APPROVED as per officer recommendation subject to the completion of the S106 and referral of the application to Secretary of State.
In the event the applicant fails to agree any necessary extensions of time to the statutory period, the application is refused on the basis of the completed S106 agreement.