Construction of 4no. one bed flats and associated parking and external landscaping, following demolition of the existing dwelling at 3 Sandford Lane (as amended by plan received 12 December 2022 and plans received 2 March 2023 and updated description agreed 28 February 2023 and amended plans received 13 April 2023 and as amended by plans 26 May 2023).
Councillor Diana Lugova declared a non-registerable interest in this item as she was local ward member. She stood down from the committee during the consideration of this application and did not participate in the debate or vote.
The committee considered planning application P22/V2811/FUL for the construction of 4no. one bed flats and associated parking and external landscaping, following demolition of the existing dwelling at 3 Sandford Lane (as amended by plan received 12 December 2022 and plans received 2 March 2023 and updated description agreed 28 February 2023 and amended plans received 13 April 2023 and as amended by plans 26 May 2023), on land at 3 Sandford Lane, Kennington Oxford Oxfordshire, OX1 5RW.
Consultations, representations, policy and guidance, and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report, which formed part of the agenda pack for the meeting.
The planning officer introduced the report and highlighted that the application was referred to the committee at the discretion of the planning manager. He went on to advise that the application followed a previous refusal for five flats on the site which had been dismissed at appeal. He informed the committee that the application before them comprised two ground floor and two first floor flats. Five parking spaces would be provided to the front of the property and the new building would be set down from the existing ground level. The planning officer went on to compare the current application with that which was dismissed at appeal and highlighted that the main area of concern for the inspector had been the harm to visual amenity due to the over engineering of the proposal, notably through the provision of level parking which would have required the use of retaining walls. The planning officer noted that under the current proposal, much of the existing gradient was to be retained, the parking would be set off from the highway and no retaining walls would be required. As such he was of the view that the proposed changes were sufficient to overcome the inspector’s previous findings of over engineering. The planning officer went on to note that the overall scale of the proposal was similar to that of the previous application on the site and that this had been acceptable to the inspector.
The planning officer informed the committee that properties in the road were set above the highway and that there was a staggered building line. He identified that there were a number of other properties along Sandford Lane with significant areas of hardstanding but in general there was a mixture of hardstanding and garden, as found by the inspector.
The planning officer concluded that the main considerations when determining the application were impacts on design and character, highways safety and neighbour impact and that the previous appeal decision was also an important consideration. The officer advised that for the reasons set out in the officer’s report and subject to the recommended conditions officers were of the view that the application was not harmful to visual amenity, highway safety nor to neighbours and that the previous findings of the inspector had been overcome and therefore the application was recommended for approval.
Councillor Martin Feather spoke on behalf of Kennington Parish Council, objecting to the application.
Nick Humphreys spoke, objecting to the application.
Terry Winter, the applicant, spoke in support of the application.
The committee had conducted a site visit prior to the meeting. The committee asked why it was acceptable for the proposed roof line to stand two metres taller than the buildings either side of the property. The planning officer confirmed this was consistent with the previous appeal decision which stated that although the roof height would be greater than neighbouring properties, its eaves height would be similar and the form, scale and appearance of the building would complement the variety of buildings in the area. The planning officer agreed with this conclusion and noted that increased height did not always result in harm. The committee asked a follow up question as to the impact moving the building further back on the site had. The planning officer pointed out that moving the building further back on the site resulted in less impact on the street scene although agreed it could have more impact on the neighbouring properties. He confirmed that the proposal was compliant with the 45 degree rule, as set out in the adopted Design Guide.
The committee asked for confirmation that there would not be an over engineered appearance to the scheme, similar to that which the inspector had been concerned about in the previously refused application. The planning officer confirmed that an approved plans condition was recommended and therefore the proposal would need to be built in accordance with the section plans submitted, which did not contain a retaining wall. If a retaining wall was needed this would require separate planning permission.
The committee asked for confirmation that the Highways Authority was content there was sufficient sweep for a van to turnaround on the drive. The planning officer confirmed that the Highways Authority had been consulted and raised no objections in terms of turning space. It was delegated to officers to word a suitable condition to secure the double yellow lines/offsite highway works and to gain the agreement of the applicant.
The committee reflected that the concerns raised by the Planning Inspector in the appeal decision had been addressed and that whilst the overbearing nature of the dwelling had been raised by neighbours this was not raised as an issue by the Planning Inspector.
The committee had concerns about highways safety, specifically as the property was situated on a corner. It requested a pre-occupation condition was added for double yellow lines and offsite highways works to be secured.
A motion was moved to approve the application. This was not seconded and therefore the motion failed.
An alternative motion was requested. As no motion was put forward the chair put forward the officer’s recommendation to approve the application, which was carried on being put to the vote.
RESOLVED: to approve planning application P22/V2811/FUL, subject to the following conditions:
[Revised conditions list required]
1. Commencement of development within three years
2. Approved plans list Prior to commencement
3. Off-site highway works scheme to be submitted prior to commencement
4. Surface water drainage scheme to be submitted
5. Phased contaminated land risk assessment to be submitted Prior to development above slab level
6. Landscaping scheme to be submitted Prior to first use
7. Contaminated land validation report in line with condition 4 to be submitted
8. Access, parking and turning in accordance with submitted details
9. Bicycle parking details to be submitted
10. Landscaping scheme implementation in line with condition 5
11. Boundary details in accordance with submitted details
12. Refuse storage in accordance with submitted details Compliance
13. Slab levels in accordance with submitted details
14. Materials in accordance with submitted details
15. Obscured glazing for first floor side facing windows
16. Works within the Highway
17. CIL- Planning permission or reserved matters approval (Vale)