Officers clarified that the Application had been brought to the Planning Committee for consideration at the request of Councillor R. J. Deeming, Ward Councillor.
Officers reported that since publishing the agenda papers the following revised documents had been received: -
· Revised Proposed Floor Plan, reference 20-825-2-P4 dated August 2021 was received on 22nd February 2022.
· Revised Design and Access Statement received on 22nd February 2022. Reference was made in this document to the need for an assisted bathroom, and it was noted that the Statement references that ‘there would not be adequate space for an assisted bathroom within the existing bedroom.’ However, no evidence had been provided on this point.
The following key measurements had been taken: -
a) Wheelchair turning circle diameter 1.7 metres.
b) Proposed Master Bedroom En-suite shower room is 2.1 metre width
by 3.6 metre length.
c) Existing 'Granny Annexe' shower room is 2.3 metre width by 3 metre
length, and the existing 'lobby' between the bedroom and landing area
is 2.2 metres width. The wheelchair turning circles are not included
on the existing plans, however, based on the indicated 'wheelchair
circles', it is considered that the existing bedroom and shower room
appear to be of a sufficient size to accommodate wheelchair access.
Agreement was given by the applicant, on 3rd March 2022 for a confidential letter from his GP (dated 29 October 2020), which provided personal medical information in support of his application, to be circulated to Committee Members. All of the above information had been detailed in the published Committee Update, copies of which were provided to Members and published on the Council’s website prior to the commencement of the meeting.
Officers presented the report and in doing so provided Members with additional presentation slides that detailed the proposed floor plan with wheelchair turning circles and lift.
Officers drew Members’ attention to the Relevant Planning History as detailed on page 103 of the main agenda report and in doing so commented that it was not clear if the applicant’s circumstances had changed since Planning Application 17/00833/FUL was refused in 2017, as detailed under Very Special Circumstances (VSC’s) on page 106 of the main agenda report. Whilst mindful of, and sympathetic to the personal circumstances and medical condition of the applicant, individual personal circumstances should not outweigh the harm by way of inappropriateness, particularly in this instance.
Officers further drew Members’ attention to pages 105 and 106 of the main agenda report – Green Belt; and in doing so highlighted that extensions which exceeded 40% were considered disproportionate. Disproportionate additions in the Green Belt represent inappropriate development, and inappropriate development was, by definition, considered harmful to the openness of the Green Belt. In this instance, the proposal would be contrary to Policy BDP4 of the Bromsgrove District Plan, as it was calculated that the original floor area was 219 square metres, previous extensions amounted to 229.5 square metres and the current proposals comprised an additional 19 square metres, so the cumulative floor space would amount to 248.5 square metres; representing a 113.5% increase, over and above the original floorspace. This represented inappropriate development in the Green Belt and caused significant harm to the openness of the Green Belt. (These figures took into account the detached triple garage constructed in 2008 which was within 5 metres of the dwelling).
Officers concluded that it was not considered that sufficient VSC’s, by way of significant evidence of personal medical needs had been demonstrated, to outweigh the substantial weight given to the harm arising by reason of inappropriateness.
At the invitation of the Chairman, Mr. T. Kidsley, on behalf of the applicant addressed the Committee. Councillor R. J. Deeming, Ward Councillor, also addressed the Committee.
Members then considered the application, which officers had recommended be refused.
Some Members commented that as you aged your health did deteriorate and that it was reasonable to want to remain in your own home.
In response to questions regarding the rear decking area, officers stated that it was not clear as to what would be removed, however, not all of the space could be used.
Members further commented that pages 106 and 107 of the main agenda report provided very clear information on VSC’s.
In response to questions on the previous extensions, officers explained that Members should balance the principles of the Green Belt and personal needs.
Members stated that whilst they understood the principles of the Green Belt and that previous extensions had created a large house, looking at the size of the garden, would the proposed extensions really harm the openness of the Green Belt.
The Council’s Legal Advisor stated that Members should consider the impact of the previous extensions and the proposed extensions and should consider the long term future planning process and the overall effect on the building, which would become visually dominant.
Some Members highlighted that whilst being aware extensions which exceeded 40% were considered disproportionate, the applicant had been employed in a very caring profession and wanted to remain in his home and that this should be strongly considered.
Members were mindful of the information provided by both the applicant and officers with regard to VSC’s.
Having considered the Application, which officers had recommended for refusal; Members were of the opinion that there were Very Special Circumstances and that the medical needs of the applicant and his personal circumstances outweighed the harm to the openness of the Green Belt.
An alternative recommendation that Planning Permission be granted was proposed and seconded.
On being put to the vote, the Committee voted in favour of the alternative recommendation.
RESOLVED that Planning Permission be granted.
a) that delegated powers be granted to the Head of Planning Regeneration to determine the conditions of the planning application to include: -
I. The development must be begun not later than the expiration of three years beginning with the date of the grant of this permission;
II. All new external walls and roofs shall be finished in materials to match in colour, form and texture those on the existing building; and
b) that any permitted development rights be removed.
At this stage in the meeting, the Chairman announced that a brief comfort break would be taken.
Accordingly, the meeting stood adjourned from 19:41pm to 19:48pm.