Agenda item


The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance) sets out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management (EM) Consent for the erection of a single storey front extension which would replace an existing porch canopy and external cupboard.


The report of the Corporate Director (Public Protection, Planning and Governance), which set out an appeal against the refusal of Estate Management Scheme (EMS) Consent for the erection of a single storey front extension which would replace an existing porch canopy and external cupboard. The application was refused on the 8 October 2020 for the following reason:


“The proposed extension would result in a large addition to the front of the property that would disrupt the planned design and layout of the properties within Howicks Green. By extending beyond the dimensions of the current porch and store cupboard, the proposed extension would have a detrimental impact upon the property and wider street scene. The introduction of a circular window is not in keeping with the immediate area and would have a detrimental impact upon the property. As a result, the application would fail to comply with Policy EM1 of the Estate Management Scheme.”


The report noted that the appeal property is a mid-terraced house located upon the southern side of Howicks Green. The properties in Howicks Green are of similar design and characterised by open porches with brick built storage cupboards located to either the left or right of the front door.


It was noted that the associated planning application was also refused but allowed on appeal on 1 February 2020.


The key issue in the determination of this appeal is the impact the proposed extension would have on the character and appearance of the appeal site and the surrounding area.


It was noted that there has been a small reduction to the width from the earlier refused application (6/2020/0448/EM), the extension remains substantially larger and would extend beyond the limits of the existing porch and store. In addition, the proposed porch is approximately 40cm higher than the roof of the existing canopy.


Although there are examples of circular windows on the front elevations of nearby houses, they are not typical of properties within Howicks Green and would be contrast to other properties where the side door has been removed and replaced with a window of dimensions to match other windows within the property. Front porches in Howicks Green that have Estate Management Consent are smaller and do not extend to the width of this proposal (e.g. follow the width of the existing canopy and store). The proposed extension would alter the relationship within the terrace and would have a detrimental impact upon the values and amenities of the property and street scene of Howicks Green.


The appellant had provided a presentation of other homes in the area that have front extensions. The appellant also highlighted the extensions within Howicks Green and stated that they took precedent from front extensions located along Howlands.  The highlighted examples were considered and the Panel felt that the proposed width of the porch was too large.  Two extensions were identified on Howlands and they were noted as being of similar size but these have EMS consent.


A discussion ensued on the size of porches within the area and it was noted that generally front extension have been discouraged by the EMS and that any proposal for front extension needs to take into account the existing character of the property as well as the wider street scene.


The Panel was advised that the appellant had submitted an appeal decision, which he requested that it be read at out the meeting.  The appeal had been allowed and planning permission granted for a single storey front extension to replace an existing porch canopy and external cupboard in accordance with the terms of the application Ref 6/2020/2056/HOUSE, dated 13 August 2020.  The Officer explained that the Inspector had advised within the decision letter that over the years, many of the porches have been altered and enclosed, creating a level of personalisation and variety that enhances the appearance of the area. That if the proposal was to continue this process and it would not be dissimilar to other enclosed porches in the areas.  It would be a modest, good quality and well-designed structure, in scale and character with the house itself and the street scene.  The Inspector concluded that the proposed porch would positively contribute to the character and appearance of the local area.  The Panel was advised that the Inspector would have made his decision based upon local and national planning policy and did not include the EMS.  This appeal should only be considered against the Welwyn Garden City’s EMS policy and therefore the outcome of the planning appeal does not add any weight to this appeal.


Members were advised that the introduction of the circular window was not in keeping with character of the street scene, although there are circular window within Welwyn Garden City’s properties but not within Howicks Green and therefore would have a detrimental effect on the area.


The following points were raised:


  • It was clarified that the current width of the porch being considered was 4.3m which is the reduced width.  The depth was acceptable.
  • It was suggested that the Officer communicates with the appellant to reduce the width to an acceptable size for the development to proceed. A fresh application will have to be submitted for the porch, once the size is agreed.
  • A Member spoke on the different types of covered porches and the circular windows within Howlands area. The proposal did not appear detrimental for the area; also the owner had agreed to reduce the width.
  • There will be changes to the way dwelling are being utilised especially due to the current climate/lockdown.
  • Members were sensitive to the appellant’s proposal but agreed that most porches in Howicks Green were around 2.5 wide and that consistency was fundamental.
  • It was noted that Howicks Green is a congested street and one cannot compare it with Howlands.
  • It was noted that there is no fee for EMS applications.


It was agreed that the EMS Manager contacts the owner with regards to submitting a fresh application with a further reduced width that would be acceptable.





That Members uphold the delegated decision and dismiss the appeal.


Supporting documents: