20/502770/FULL - ERECTION OF SINGLE STOREY SIDE EXTENSION, PART SINGLE STOREY PART TWO STOREY REAR EXTENSION, NEW UPPER FLOOR, TOGETHER WITH EXTERNAL ALTERATIONS AND CHANGE OF USE OF COMMERCIAL TO RESIDENTIAL TO FORM 10 NO. RESIDENTIAL UNITS - HOLMAN HOUSE, STATION ROAD, STAPLEHURST, TONBRIDGE, KENT
- Meeting of Adjourned Meeting, Planning Committee, Thursday 1st October, 2020 6.00 pm (Item 377.)
- View the background to item 377.
The Committee considered the report of the Head of Planning and Development.
In presenting the application, the Major Projects Manager updated Members on correspondence received from three neighbouring properties following publication of the agenda and explained how some of their concerns might be ameliorated through conditions.
The Major Projects Manager advised the Committee that:
· He wished to correct his report which stated that two windows on the side elevation facing The Yews were open glazed and would be obscured and therefore provide a benefit, but the neighbour had pointed out that the windows were in fact currently obscured.
· There was a minor amendment to the application. The Police in their representations had raised concerns about a doorway in that someone could loiter in the alcove. The doorway served no real purpose and the applicant had agreed to remove it which, in effect, added almost 4 square metres to the floor space of the unit taking it to 2 square metres over space standards.
· A resident had expressed concern that in this scheme, all 10 residents’ parking bays were at the rear of the building and 2 visitor parking bays were at the front which meant that there would be additional activity along the access driveway. The access driveway was the same as that approved under a previous permission with a landscape buffer adjacent to the rear garden of The Yews as required by Members.
· The resident had highlighted that on the application drawings there would be an acoustic fence along the boundary with The Yews to mitigate the impact of the vehicle movements. The existing fence line was the resident’s fence line rather than the application site and they were concerned that they would have to remove their own fence to allow the acoustic fence to be erected. Having measured the width of the access it would be possible to erect an acoustic fence within the application site whilst still providing an adequate one-way access width although it might require some changes to a low retaining wall. An additional condition was recommended requiring clarification of the acoustic fence installation to make sure that it could be fitted properly within the application site without relying on the neighbour.
· The resident was also concerned about the additional impact of vehicles entering and exiting the site on what was a busy part of Station Road.
· The resident at The Yews was concerned about overlooking of their patio and rear garden as there would be more windows. There was a possible solution in that there were various design techniques that can reduce overlooking such as windows recessed into deep reveals, deep bays inside the windows with walls directing views in particular directions and windows could be slanted. If Members felt that the perception of overlooking was so significant, a condition could be attached requiring an appropriate combination of these design treatments in the windows on the main flank rear elevation and that would avoid direct overlooking.
· The residents were concerned about the references to space standards in the report. Having remeasured all of the units, there were three that just fell short of the space standards, but at the moment space standards were a guideline and could only be enforced if they were supported by Local Plan policies and the Council did not have those yet. Overall, he considered that the scheme provided a surplus.
The Chairman read out statements on behalf of Staplehurst Parish Council and Mr Blackmore, the applicant.
Councillors Brice and Perry (Visiting Members) addressed the meeting.
RESOLVED: That consideration of this application be deferred to enable the Officers to seek details of the following to address Members’ concerns:
Electric vehicle charging points and renewable energy generation including Solar PV.
Biodiversity enhancements including retention of the hedge.
The acoustic fence installation.
Turning area and parking facilities, including cycle parking.
The design treatment of the windows to the rear of the development.
A revised internal layout to address room sizes and space standards guidelines.
The suitability of units for elderly/disabled residents.
Voting: 10 – For 0 – Against 0 – Abstentions
Note: Councillor Eves did not participate in the voting due to connectivity issues.
- 20/502770/FULL - Site Plan, item 377. PDF 428 KB
- 20/502770/FULL - Committee Report, item 377. PDF 757 KB