Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance).
Report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) on the sub-division of existing site into two separate plots including the demolition of the existing detached garage and lean to and the erection of one dwelling house.
The application site was located on the eastern side of The Ryde at the junction with Pleasant Rise. The site comprised a two storey, five bedroomed dwelling, with a detached double garage. Located on a prominent corner plot, the site benefitted from a wide frontage, with a larger than average front and side garden. The land was generally level in the vicinity of the existing house, but sloped downwards from south to north from the existing house to the north boundary by approximately 1m.
Within the immediate context of the site, the houses fronting onto the eastern side of The Ryde and the southern side of Pleasant Rise were generally two storey, detached dwellings of conventional design which dated from the 1960’s. More widely, there was a greater degree of variety in terms of architectural styles, including bungalows, semi-detached and terrace properties. To the opposite side of The Ryde was a terrace of bungalows at Nos. 43 – 67 that were part of an award winning and radical housing scheme, now Grade II Listed, built in the mid-60’s by the Cockaigne Housing Group. There was an area of open grass and trees located to the north of the site, to the opposite side of Pleasant Rise.
The application was presented to the Committee because Hatfield Town Council had submitted a Major Objection to the proposed development for the reasons set out below:
“Members note the further changes to the plans however they are still concerned at loss of privacy and loss of daylight for the resident at 2 Pleasant Rise. There is concern regarding traffic generation and development on a very dangerous bend in the road. Members consider this is still overdevelopment of the site leading to very little amenity space for the property and insufficient off road parking. They are extremely concerned that this will set a precedent for further shoe-horning of second houses on plots in the vicinity.”
Mrs Holms, Neighbour, spoke against the application saying that there were 22 local objections to the planning application including collective ones from the Ryde Association and the Cockaigne Housing Group. They said that 16 The Ryde was only purchased for the sole purchase of building an additional house on the land for profit. The application sought to shoehorn a large, 3 bedroom house onto a small plot of land. The proposed house had a garden to the side of the house which would be very small for the property and would be an inadequate garden space for a large 3 bedroom house. The garden space at 16 The Ryde had been reduced by at least 50%, leaving a small garden for a 5 double bedroom house. The parking was limited for both houses and will result in additional street parking that was dangerously close to a busy junction. As an occupier of 2 Pleasant Rise for over 30 years the development would significantly reduce light and sunlight to 2 windows in the lounge and master bedroom. The proposal would be an overdevelopment of the site and out of keeping with the area. Approval of the application would see similar developments in the future which would damage the character and context of the special and valued housing estate in Hatfield.
Councillor P.Hebden, Ward Councillor, spoke against the application saying that 16 The Ryde was purchased by developers in December 2018 and was currently occupied as a short term rental. The floor area for the new 3-bed house was 140 sq metres. The Nationally Described Space Standards gave an area of 102 sq metres for a 3-bed house. The application was therefore 40% larger than it need be. There was also a large amount of hard standing to be included in the proposed development, which was not in character with the area. The front and rear areas of 16A were to be paved over and the front drive of 16 to be expanded. This would take site coverage of the total areas, including hard standing, to nearly 50% of the total site. This was not typical of the locality and reduced crucial flood mitigating green areas. The previous application at 1 Stag Green Avenue referred to in the report was refused by the planning inspector for good reason. There was scope for development on the site but not as large as this proposal which was contrary to District Plan Policies SD1, D1 & D2 and Local Plan Policy D8.
Councillor Margaret Eames-Petersen, Hatfield Town Council, spoke against the application saying that they had concerns that there would be a loss of privacy and daylight for the residents at 2 Pleasant Rise. The development was on a busy junction and the location lead to a school and nursery so the junction was busy with cars, cyclists and pedestrians. The access to parking spaces for both the dwellings was on the busy road junction. The new house will generate traffic which will exit onto the junction. The Ryde was designed in the 1960s to have detached houses on large plots with large gardens and garages. The application would represent a cramped and unsympathetic form of development which does not enhance local distinctiveness. The residents were concerned that this will set a pattern for further shoe-horning of second houses on plots in the vicinity.
Following discussion, it was proposed and seconded by Councillors L.Musk and A.Chesterman and
(6 in favour, 5 against and 2 abstentions)
That planning permission be APPROVED subject to the conditions as set out in the report, with amendments to condition 2 and an additional condition added to restrict windows in the rear elevation of the dwelling, together with a further informative to outline the requirements of condition 2.
Amended condition 2
Notwithstanding the materials shown on the approved plans or the supporting information and application forms concerning the proposed materials, no above ground development shall take place until samples of the materials to be used in the construction of all of the external surfaces of the building, including the exact materials and finishes of the windows, hereby granted have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be implemented using the approved materials and subsequently, the approved materials shall not be changed.
REASON: To ensure a satisfactory standard of development in the interests of visual amenity in accordance with Policies D1 and D2 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005 and the National Planning Policy Framework.
Notwithstanding the provisions of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) order 2015, (or any order revoking or enacting that order with or without modification), no windows other than those shown on the approved plans, shall be inserted into the first floor rear (southern) elevation of the dwelling hereby permitted.
REASON: To protect the residential amenity and living conditions of adjoining occupiers in accordance with Policy D1 of the Welwyn Hatfield District Plan 2005 and the National Planning Policy Framework.
In regard to condition 2 and notwithstanding what is shown on the plans and in the supporting information, the Local Planning Authority would like the colour of the permitted cladding and window finishes to be less stark and an alternative colour to grey, which is shown on the plans and stated in the application. Additionally roof tiles should reflect the design and colour of the adjoining houses on this side of Pleasant Rise and The Ryde.