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Agenda item

20/01221/FUL - Ashgrove, Toddington

PROPOSAL: Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 2No detached dwellings.




72.49        This was an application for demolition of existing dwelling and erection of two no. detached dwellings. 

72.50        The Development Management Team Leader (North) explained that the existing dwelling, known as Ashgrove, was located in the New Town area of Toddington, on the northern side of the highway, and was an attractive and historic cottage in Cotswold stone. Ashgrove was not listed, but was considered to be a non-designated heritage asset. The application site was located within the Cotswolds AONB. The site was bounded by the detached dwelling known as Harrington House on its western side and the dwelling known as The Willows on its eastern side, with generous spacing between each of those dwellings. Planning permission had been granted for the erection of six dwellings on the parcel of land immediately to the rear of the application site, which remained extant. The application proposed the demolition of the existing dwelling known as Ashgrove and the erection of two detached 4-bed dwellings. The submitted application set out that the design of the proposed dwellings followed that of the two dwellings previously approved in 2020 on the site directly opposite, on land adjacent to Beech House; the approved elevations of which were included within the Officer’s report. However, unlike this previously approved development, the current application proposed that each dwelling would include an attached single garage on its side elevation.  A new vehicular access would also be created from a single point. The proposed dwellings would generally follow the building line of adjacent built development to the east and west, although each would be located slightly further southwards in closer proximity to the adjacent highway. This application was submitted further to an application in 2017 for the proposed erection of a detached dwelling to the side of the existing dwelling at Ashgrove, and an outline application in 2020 for the proposed demolition of the existing dwelling at Ashgrove and the construction of two dwellings, both of which were refused. Further to the refusal of those applications, an application was submitted to determine if prior approval would be required for the proposed demolition of Ashgrove. It was determined in November 2020 that prior approval was not required for the method of demolition of the dwelling known as Ashgrove nor any proposed restoration of the site. The current application referred to this as a “fallback position”. The applicant had demonstrated that they did not require any further permissions to carry out the demolition of the existing dwelling, and the Conservation Officer advised that there were therefore no further heritage issues to comment on in the case of the current application. Toddington was identified as a Service Village within the JCS and the site was located within the Toddington Settlement Boundary on the Pre-Submission Borough Plan Proposals Map.  As the site formed previously developed land and was bordered by residential properties on either side, the development was considered to represent infill. As such, the principle of new housing in this location was considered to be acceptable.  However, as the Council's policies for the supply of housing were currently considered to be out-of-date having regard to paragraph 11 of the Framework, the presumption should be that planning permission was granted unless (i) the application of policies in the Framework that protected assets of particular importance provided a clear reason for refusing the development; or (ii) any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole.  The benefits which would be derived from the development would be a contribution, albeit in a small way, towards providing housing in the Borough. There would also be economic benefits both during and post construction through the creation of new jobs and the support to existing local services and the local economy, although these economic benefits would similarly be limited by the scale of the development proposed. In addition, subject to compliance with the recommended conditions relating to the provision of ecological enhancements and the provision of electric vehicle charging points, the proposal would protect and enhance ecology and biodiversity, and would promote sustainable travel and healthy communities, although such benefits would, again, be limited by the scale of the development proposed. In terms of harms, the proposed dwellings would be located relatively close together by virtue of the proposed attached garages.  However, the submitted elevations and section drawings demonstrated that they would be separated generously at first floor level. They would also be viewed in the context of adjacent built development on all sides. Notwithstanding this, however, in the context of the existing spacious and open site, the current proposal would result in a relatively cramped form of development.  The proposed dwellings would create a denser appearance than the current character of the site and existing dwelling. By virtue of this, and their location further southwards within the site and in closer proximity of the public highway, it was considered that the proposed dwellings would appear more prominent within the street scene. As such, it was judged that the proposed redevelopment of the site would fail to conserve the rural character and appearance of the area and the visual attractiveness and scenic beauty of the Cotswolds AONB. Having regard to the policies of the development plan and the responses of technical consultees, subject to the imposition of suitable planning conditions, there were no objections in respect of impact on residential amenity, traffic and transport, drainage or biodiversity nor arboricultural implications. In this instance, by virtue of the location of the application site on previously developed land within this service village, in the context of adjacent built development on all sides, and by virtue of the design and materials of the proposed dwellings and the generous spacing between them at first floor level, it was concluded that the impact on the AONB did not result in a clear reason for refusal, subject to any approval of planning permission being subject to a restrictive condition pertaining to the erection or construction on this site of any private car garages, extensions, garden sheds, gates, fences, walls, other means of enclosure or structures of any kind.  As such, the tilted balance was applied and engaged in this case.  It was considered that any adverse impacts of permitting this application would not significantly or demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole.  It was therefore recommended that planning permission be granted, subject to the conditions listed within the Officer’s report.

72.51        The Chair indicated that there were no public speakers for this item and the Officer recommendation was to permit the application.

72.52        A local Ward Member referred to the Highways input on this application in relation to a condition that some cycle storage facilities be made available on site prior to occupation. She questioned whether it was felt that a garage, which was clearly part of the application for both properties, represented suitable covered facilities and if so why was there a need for cycle storage facilities; she was also of the view this condition related more to urban settings rather than the rural countryside where most properties had garages or areas where bikes could be stored. The representative from the Local Highways Authority indicated that cycle storage in garages was allowed if the internal space dimensions were 3m by 6m but if they were smaller than this then cycle storage facilities were required. The Member indicated that 3m by 6m was far larger than what was needed for cycle storage and even in an urban setting most people would not have that space and therefore she queried where this requirement had come from. The representative from the Local Highways Authority indicated that cycle standards were included in the manual for Gloucestershire streets which also included parking standards; this was a local policy rather than a national one. The Development Manager indicated that 3m by 6m was the standard size of a single garage but looking at the plans on Page No. 262, the proposed garages would be significantly larger than this and therefore would in any event meet the condition. On this basis it was proposed and seconded that the application should be permitted in accordance with the Officer recommendation subject to the condition relating to cycle storage being removed as garages were provided as part of the application which would give sufficient space for cycles to be stored. A Member referred to paragraph 4.6 on Page No. 236 and asked why the Health and Safety Executive had been consulted on this application. The Development Management Team Leader (North) explained that the application site fell within a wider consultation distance of a gas pipeline. Upon being put to the vote, it was

RESOLVED          That the application be PERMITTED in accordance with the Officer recommendation subject to the removal of the condition in relation to cycle storage.

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