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16th August 2018


REFERENCE NO - †18/502748/FULL


Demolition of the existing outbuilding and the construction of a two bedroom attached house.

ADDRESS - 15 Monkdown Downswood Maidstone Kent ME15 8SP


SUMMARY OF REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION Ė The current proposal being similar to the two-storey side extension approved in April 2018, under reference number 18/500753/FULL is acceptable in terms of scale and design and no material harm will be caused to the character, appearance or layout of the vicinity of the site. The proposal accords with all relevant policies of the development plan (Maidstone Borough Local Plan (2017) and the NPPF and will make a valuable windfall contribution towards the provision of smaller housing units within the Borough.

REASON FOR REFERRAL TO COMMITTEE Ė Downswood Parish Council have requested the application is reported to the Planning Committee if Officers are minded to recommend approval.

WARD Downswood And Otham


APPLICANT Ms Amanda Cooper

AGENT Mr Paul Fowler








App No





Demolishing of existing outbuilding, Erection of a two-storey side extension and extended vehicular cross over.











1.01       The application relates to an irregular shaped plot of land taken from the side and rear garden of the semi-detached property at no.15 Monkdown that is currently occupied by a timber framed shed. The site lies on the north side Monkdown and forms part of a dense residential development within the settlement of Downswood. The site is located within the defined urban area of Maidstone in the adopted Maidstone Borough Local Plan (2017).


1.02       The prevailing character of the street scene is mixed and comprises of detached, semi-detached and terraced properties largely of similar scale, design and age. There are gaps between the properties, especially at first floor level, which vary in scale and maintain a visual break between the properties. Some of these gaps have been infilled over time with the erection of two storey side extensions.


1.03       The neighbouring dwelling to the east of the site at no. 17 Monkdown has an outbuilding adjacent to the site which appears to have been converted to living accommodation and has a window to the south (front) elevation.






2.0         PROPOSAL


2.01       Planning permission was granted on the 4th of April 2018 under application reference number 18/500753/FULL for demolition of the existing outbuilding and erection of a two-storey side extension and extended vehicular cross over.


2.02       The current application effectively seeks to convert this approved development into a two bedroom residential dwelling with some minor alterations to fenestration. The current proposal will result in the creation of a three block terrace, and will include a separate curtilage for the dwelling and off street parking. A visual comparison between the previously approved extension and the attached building currently proposed is provided below.



Proposal previously approved under 18/500753/FULL



Current proposal


2.03       The new dwelling would have a width of 4.5 metres and a depth of 7.5 metres. The dwelling would be approximately 7 metres above ground level with eaves at a height of just 4.8 metres. The building would be set back from the front elevation by 0.5 metres with the roof set down from the roof of the main dwelling by approximately 0.3 metres.


2.04       The proposed new dwelling would retain a gap of 0.5 metres at the narrowest point with the common boundary of the neighbouring dwelling to the east of the site (no.17 Monksdown) widening towards the front part of the site. The gap with this neighbouring dwelling at first floor level would be above 5 metres at its widest point flank to flank.


2.05       The application indicates a separate garden for the new dwelling, which extends from the rear of the development to the rear boundary of the site. The existing dwelling and the proposed new dwelling would have open frontages, with the provision of one off street car parking space for each dwelling. Unlike existing dwellings on the street, the front door is located on the east facing elevation, but the fenestration details proposed would be largely similar to those on the existing dwellings within the street.


2.06       The ground floor of the new dwelling would provide a living room, kitchen, and downstairs toilet. There would be two bedrooms on the first floor with a separate family bathroom. Materials proposed for the dwelling include facing brickwork and plain roof tiles which reflects those used on the main dwelling and surrounding properties.





3.01†††† The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF): 47, 55, 122, 124, 127 and 128 of the National Planning Policy Framework July 2018

National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG):

Maidstone Borough Local Plan 2017 SS1, DM1, DM9, DM11, DM12 and DM23





4.01†††† Local Residents: No representations have been received from local residents either in support or objecting to this application.


4.02†††† Cllr Gordon Newton has requested that notwithstanding the planning permission granted for the two storey side extension, the current scheme is unacceptable and should be reported to the planning committee if the case officer is minded to approve.


4.03†††† Comments have been received from Cllr Matt Boughton stating that the development as planned due to its proximity to site boundaries and the lack of boundary landscaping is incongruous and harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area contrary to policy DM1 of the adopted Local Plan.


4.01       Downswood Parish Council objects to the application on the following summarised grounds.

         The site density is not appropriate for a separate residential dwelling.

         It does not meet the relevant parking standards

         The proposal is without a boarder and in close proximity to the adjacent building.





5.01KCC Highways and Transport: No objections




††††††††††† Main Issues

6.01†††† The application proposes erection of two bedroom attached house to create a three block terrace. The main issues for consideration are;

         The principle of the development

         Impact upon the character of the retained property and the character and appearance of the surrounding area;

         Impact upon the residential amenity of future occupants of the new dwelling.

         The potential impact on the occupiers of surrounding neighbouring dwellings.

         Impact on highways in terms of parking and access.


Principle of development


6.02†††† Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 provides that all planning applications must be determined in accordance with the Development Plan unless other material considerations indicate otherwise.


6.03†††† Policy SS1 of the adopted local plan sets out the spatial strategy for Maidstone†† Borough. The Maidstone urban area is the most sustainable location in the hierarchy where new development is firstly directed followed by the rural service centres and the larger villages as defined on the proposals map to the Maidstone Borough Local Plan (2017).


6.04†††† Policy SP1 of the adopted local outlines the Councilís objectives of ensuring that the Maidstone urban area remains an attractive place to live and work. In line with this objective, the Council aspires to infill appropriate urban sites in a way that contributes positively to the local distinctive character.


6.05†††† Having regards to the development plan and in considering the approved development at the site which is similar to the current scheme in terms of scale and design, no overriding planning objection can be raised to this currently proposed scheme. The proposed scheme converts the approved extension into a two bedroom self contained dwelling. The submission is consistent with all the relevant provisions of the adopted local and the NPPF and on this basis principle of the development is considered acceptable.††


Visual Impact:


6.06†††† Policy DM1 of the adopted local plan addresses the Councilís aspiration of achieving high quality design throughout the borough. The policy requires proposals to positively respond to, and where appropriate enhance the character of their surroundings. Additional guidance is set out in policy DM12 of the plan requiring new housing development to be at a density that is consistent with achieving good design without compromising the distinctive character of the area in which it is situated. The proposed density of development that is currently proposed is in line with the character of the site and the surrounding area.


6.07†††† The general street scene is of a mixed character and cannot be argued to have a defined layout, being largely made up of a mixture of detached, semi-detached and terraced properties. The proposed building slightly set back and set down from the height and front elevation of the original building would maintain the character, appearance and proportions of the original building.


6.08†††† The existing semi detached dwellings at 13 and 15 Monkdown are not of uniform or symmetrical appearance, with the host dwelling at no 15 having a Gablet to the front elevation. Therefore the development when seen in the current context of the street is considered sympathetic to the existing dwelling. The proposed building would be sufficiently separated from the two-storey part of the dwelling at number 17 such that it would not create a terracing effect. The proposal would preserve the character and appearance of the street scene.


6.09†††† The layout of the front of the site has been well designed to include the provision of an off street car parking space which is similar to other nearby dwellings. The layout of the frontage also includes an area for the storage of refuse bins, new landscaping and cycle parking and this is considered an appropriate setting to the new building.


6.10†††† Whilst there are a number of different facing materials used on buildings locally (including red and buff brick) the proposed building will use facing brick and roofing tiles to match the existing building at15 Monkdown


6.11 †† In summary the proposed new dwelling will respect the character, appearance and layout of the existing dwelling, the general streetscene and surrounding development.


Residential Amenity:


6.12†††† Policy DM1 of the adopted local plan (2017) requires that proposals are assessed in terms of the level of amenity they provide for future occupants and the occupiers of neighbouring residential properties.

6.13†††† The proposed new dwelling would provide a good level of internal floor space for future occupants with adequate levels of natural light and outlook. The outdoor amenity space the proposed dwelling and that retained by the application property are of an adequate size and useable proportions and considered acceptable.


6.14 †† In terms of privacy, the front openings would face south on to the public road with sufficient separation distance across it to properties opposite. To the side (east) elevation, the proposed first-floor window is stated to be obscure glazed with a top opening fanlight only. The main entrance door is on the eastern elevation and would face the blank side extension at no.17 Monkdown. In summary there would be no unacceptable harm to the amenities of neighbours in terms of overlooking or loss of privacy.


6.15 †† In relation to potential neighbour impact there is sufficient separation distance of approximately 19 metres to the properties behind so as to maintain amenity levels. In addition views from the proposed rear openings towards properties at the rear would not be significantly different to views from existing windows in the existing main house. It is highlighted that the changes from the previously approved two storey extension include a reduction in the overall total area of window and door openings in the rear elevation.


6.16†††† In summary the proposed new dwelling will maintain amenity levels for nearby residents whilst providing a good standard of amenity for future occupants of the new accommodation.


6.17†††† It is highlighted that there were no objections received from neighbours or the parish council following the two rounds of public consultation on this application and the earlier application for a two storey side extension.


Parking and highway safety:


6.18 †† The submitted plans indicate the provision of one car parking space in addition to the provision of a cycle stand on site. This provision is consistent with provisions of the development plan. There are no highways issues arising from the extended crossover, since the site lies within an estate with a 30 mph speed limit, and due to the road layout vehicle speeds are likely to be relatively low.


6.19†††† The proposed new dwelling is likely to generate a marginal increase in vehicular movement to and from the site. This would not be significantly different from the vehicle trips likely to be generated by the additional accommodation provided by the approved extension. It is considered that the resulting traffic increase can be adequately accommodated on the road network without detriment to highway safety or local amenity of the site.


6.20†††† With the sustainable location of the site, absence of highway safety issues, and off street parking that complies with requirements of policy DM23 of the adopted Maidstone Borough Local Plan (2017), the proposal is acceptable in relation to parking, traffic and highway safety.





6.21†††† The proposal site currently forms part of a managed residential garden. The nature, siting and scale of the proposal do not raise any significant ecological issues to consider. The scheme proposes to incorporate swift bricks and bat boxes in the development in accordance with requirements of the NPPF.



7.0†††††† CONCLUSION


7.01       The proposed new dwelling has been found to be acceptable in terms of design and appearance, and there are no adverse impacts on the character, appearance and visual amenity of the local area. No adverse impacts are identified to the amenities of occupiers of neighboring dwellings. The proposals are acceptable on in relation to parking and highway safety.


7.02       The proposal conforms with all the relevant provisions of the development plan and national planning policy and there are no other material consideration that would support the refusal of planning permission. In the circumstances, I recommend that this application is approved subject to appropriate conditions.





8.01       GRANT planning permission subject to the following conditions:


1)            The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission;


Reason:† In accordance with the provisions of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Section 51 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.


2.†††††††† The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans/drawing numbers;


A site location plan, proposed site plan, proposed plans and elevations received on 21/05/18;


Reason: To ensure the quality of the development is maintained and to prevent harm to the residential amenity of neighbouring occupiers.


3.†††††††† The development hereby approved shall not commence above slab level until written

details of samples of the materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the buildings hereby permitted have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority and the development shall be constructed using the approved materials.


The details of the material shall include swift bricks and bat tubes/boxes to be incorporated into the development.


Reason: To ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development and in the interest of biodiversity.


4. †††††† The development shall not be occupied until the parking spaces shown on the approved plans have been provided. They shall be kept available for the parking of vehicles connected to the occupiers of the approved development at all times and permanently retained as such thereafter.


Reason: In the interest of highway safety and the free flow of traffic.


5.†††††††† Prior to occupation of the proposed new dwelling a minimum of one electric vehicle charging point shall be installed and ready for use and in accordance with details that have previously been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority with the details including a programme for installation, maintenance and management with the points retained thereafter and maintained in accordance with the approved details.


Reason: To promote the reduction of CO2 emissions through the use of low emissions vehicles in accordance with paragraph 35 of the NPPF.


6.†††††††† Notwithstanding the information on the approved plans, the development shall not commence above slab level until details of how decentralised and renewable or low-carbon sources of energy will be incorporated into the development hereby approved to provide at least 10% of total annual energy requirements of the development, have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The approved details shall be installed prior to first occupation and maintained thereafter;


Reason: To ensure an energy efficient form of development.† Details are required prior to commencements as these methods may impact or influence the overall appearance of development.


7. †††††† Notwithstanding the provisions of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, no further development shall take place on the site without the prior written consent of the Local Planning Authority;


††††††††††† Reason: To ensure the appearance and the character of the building is maintained.


8. †††††† The development hereby approved shall not commence above slab level until a landscape scheme designed in accordance with the principles of the Councilís landscape character guidance has been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The scheme shall show all existing trees, hedges and blocks of landscaping on, and immediately adjacent to, the site and indicate whether they are to be retained or removed [, provide details of on site replacement planting to mitigate any loss of amenity and biodiversity value [together with the location of any habitat piles] and include a planting specification, a programme of implementation and a [5] year management plan.]


Reason: In the interests of landscape, visual impact and amenity of the area and to ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development


9.†††††††† The approved landscaping shall be in place at the end of the first planting and seeding season following completion of the dwelling. Any trees or plants, which, within a period of 5 years from the completion of the development die, are removed, or become seriously damaged or diseased, shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species.


Reason: In the interest of visual amenity of the area.


10.† ††† Before the development hereby permitted is first occupied, the first floor windows opening on the eastern elevation of the proposed development (as shown on the proposed plans and elevations) shall be obscure glazed and shall be incapable of being opened except for a high level fanlight opening of at least 1.7m above inside floor level and shall subsequently be maintained as such:


Reason: To safeguard the privacy of existing and prospective occupiers.


11.†††††† The development hereby approved shall not commence above slab level until, details of all fencing, walling and other boundary treatments have been submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority with the details including gaps at ground level to allow the passage of wildlife and the development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details before the first occupation of the building(s) or land and maintained thereafter;


Reason: To ensure a satisfactory appearance to the development, to safeguard the enjoyment of their properties by existing and prospective occupiers and in the interests of wildlife.




(1)††††††† The applicant is advised that in order to avoid nuisance to neighbours thought should be given to restricting that use of plant and machinery used for demolition and construction to between 0800 hours and 1900 hours on Mondays to Fridays and between 0800 hours and 1300 hours on Saturdays and at no time on Sunday and Bank Holidays. It is advised to restrict vehicles arriving, departing, loading or unloading within the general site between the hours of 0800 hours and 1900 Mondays to Fridays and 0800 to 1300 hours on Saturdays and at no time on Sundays and Bank Holidays.



NB††† For full details of all papers submitted with this application please refer to the relevant Public Access pages on the councilís website.