Officers clarified that the Application had been brought to the Planning Committee for consideration at the request of Councillor K. May, Ward Councillor.
Officers presented the report and in doing so informed the Committee that, the application was for alterations to the existing detached garage building onsite to create a residential annexe together with the erection of a glazed link connecting the garage building and dwelling house and erection of a domestic store room to the rear. The annexe was proposed for the applicant’s elderly parents to occupy.
The application site was located within the Green Belt.
The existing dwelling had been extended on a number of occasions as detailed in the Planning History, on page 26 of the main agenda report. The applicants outline in their Planning Statement that the dwelling had been previously extended by 116% above the original. This figure did not include the detached garage which was granted planning permission in 1985. Including the garage, the dwelling had been extended well above the 40% and as such any further additions to the building should be considered as inappropriate development in the Green Belt. The current proposal added a further 12sqm in floor space which was a further 10% above the original.
The glazed link was small in scale and sited between the two buildings. In addition to this, the store to the rear was in the position to the existing external staircase. For these reasons, the proposal was considered to have minimal impact on openness.
The applicants had put forward justification for the extensions on the grounds that the proposed accommodation was required for the occupation of the applicant’s parents who were in need of care. Also outlining it reasonable and necessary for the link to be provided to allow safe access to the main dwelling.
The garage could be converted without the glazed link and without the store to the rear. Although it was appreciated that the parents would need safe access to the main dwelling, the small distance from the building and level ground between the buildings does not make the requirement for this link essential for the proposed use. This link was considered a preference not a necessity and did not prevent the garage being converted for the family’s needs.
Officers concluded and stated that the proposed extensions amounted to inappropriate development in the Green Belt and although small in scale; taking into consideration the extensive planning history, the proposed extensions were to be considered disproportionate to the original dwelling. As stated during the course of the meeting, including the garage, the dwelling had been extended 186% above the original.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr. I. Dunnaker, the Applicant addressed the Committee. Councillor M. Sherrey, on behalf of Councillor K. May, Ward Member, also addressed the Committee.
The Committee then considered the Application, which officers had recommended be refused.
In response to questions from the Committee, officers clarified that the internal alterations to the garage did not require planning permission for the use as an annexe, so the garage could be converted. In terms of the two doors that linked the properties, they could be done under Class A permitted development rights. As detailed in the officer’s report, the link was not essential for the proposed use. Glazed links often included lighting which made it more visible from the street scene.
Members commented that as highlighted in the officer’s report, that the glazed link was small in scale and felt that it would not have an impact on the Green Belt or streetscene and that the link would provide a safe access for the elderly parents in inclement weather conditions.
Officers reiterated that although the glazed link was small in scale, Members needed to consider the cumulative impact, and that the dwelling had been extended 186% above the original. In response to Members questioning how the development had been extended to 186% above the original, officers stated that Green Belt policy had evolved since 1983 and that the previous extensions were historic, as detailed in the relevant planning history on page 26 of the main agenda report.
Members agreed that this did cause them some conflict, as the proposed development would add an additional 10% and some Members commented that the Committee should adhere to policies.
In response officers highlighted that the NPPF did not define what percentage was inappropriate development, however Policy BDP4.4 of the adopted Bromsgrove District Plan permitted extensions to existing residential dwellings up to a maximum of 40% increase of the original dwelling.
However, some Members also commented that the historic extensions had been approved when the maximum 40% increase was not a requirement.
Members also commented that there was also a need for families who wanted to provide suitable accommodation for elderly parents.
Some Members reiterated that in their opinion the proposed development would not impact on the Green Belt or streetscene; and as detailed on page 25 of the main agenda report, that letters of support had been received.
An Alternative Recommendation was proposed that planning permission be granted, on the grounds that the family circumstances constituted to very special circumstances that outweighed the inappropriate development and harm to the Green Belt; and that the proposed small development would provide suitable accommodation for their elderly parents. Members further agreed that the following Conditions be included:-
· that the ‘Occupation of the development hereby approved shall be limited to the Landowner (and any resident dependent of the landowner) and cannot be sold independently to the site’; and
· the removal of Class A and E Permitted Development rights.
RESOLVED that Planning Permission be granted;
a) authority be delegated to the Head of Planning and Regeneration to determine the final detailed wording of Conditions, and
b) that two additional Conditions be included, as detailed in the preamble above.