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Agenda item

21/00282/FUL - Elm Gardens, Badgeworth Road, Badgeworth

PROPOSAL: Erection of a two storey side extension, first floor extension, front porch extension and remodelling of bungalow (amended).




19.33        This application was for erection of a two storey side extension, first floor extension, front porch extension and remodelling of bungalow (amended).

19.34        The Planning Officer advised that the site was located to the west of Badgeworth Road and to the north of the A40 within the Green Belt and a public footpath crossed the site from Badgeworth Road to the north-west.  The application proposed substantial extensions to the existing bungalow, resulting in a much larger two-storey dwelling.  The main issues for consideration were whether the resultant dwelling would comply with Green Belt policy; if the extensions would be of an acceptable design and appearance; and consideration of the permitted development fallback position.  The National Planning Policy Framework made clear that development in the Green Belt was inappropriate other than for a limited number of defined purposes; this included extensions and alterations to a dwelling which were not considered inappropriate development provided that it did not result in disproportionate additions over and above the size of the original building.  Notwithstanding this, the application as proposed was considered inappropriate development in the Green Belt.  The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy was to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open and, by virtue of its increased size and height, the proposed two storey dwelling would have a materially greater impact on openness than the existing bungalow.  As the proposal would be inappropriate development and, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt, the proposal should not be permitted except in very special circumstances.  The applicant had sought to make a very special circumstances case relying on the permitted development fallback position.  Case law had established that permitted development rights could be taken into account as a fallback position where some alternative form of development is then proposed and there was a realistic prospect of those permitted rights being implemented if permission was refused for the alternative proposal.  In this case, prior approval had been granted for an additional upper extension and rear extension and a plan had been submitted to demonstrate how the property could be extended under permitted development rights.  It was considered that the permitted development scheme would result in a functional dwelling and there was a realistic prospect of that being implemented if this application was refused.  The fallback proposal would be 28% larger in floor area and 32% larger in volume than the proposal before Members and would result in a more sprawling form of development with the single storey extensions being more visually prominent.  The applicant’s fallback position had been accepted and given considerable weight in terms of the very special circumstances case.  The dwelling was situated in a large and isolated plot and, in that context, the proposed dwelling was considered to be a suitable scale relative to the plot.  The fallback position would result in a sprawling building of poor design whereas this proposal would have a relatively compact footprint and amended plans had reduced the mass of the roof and the size of the front gable extension to minimise its visual impact.  The proposal would result in a reduced scale and a more considered and consolidated design than the fallback position and the proposed materials were acceptable.  The applicant had agreed to the removal of future permitted development rights and for additional soft landscaping to reduce the visual impact.  It was noted that the proposal would not have an adverse impact in terms of neighbouring amenity and highway safety.  The Planning Officer advised that a public right of way crossed the site from Badgeworth Road to the rear of the bungalow along the northern boundary and the boundary wall prevented access to that from Badgeworth Road - it was not permitted to obstruct or build over a public right of way and diversion was controlled by separate legislation so the applicant would need to seek consent from County Highways.  In summary, whilst the proposed development was inappropriate in the Green Belt, it was considered that very special circumstances had been demonstrated which clearly outweighed the harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness and any other harm arising from the proposal. As such, the Officer recommendation was to permit the application.

19.35        The Chair indicated that there were no public speakers for this item.  The Officer recommendation was to permit the application and he sought a motion from the floor.  It was proposed and seconded that the application be permitted in accordance with the Officer recommendation.  A Member sought clarification on the very special circumstances case and the Development Manager advised that, in this instance, the fallback position and what could be built under permitted development rights amounted to the very special circumstances required.  The plan at Page No. 177 of the Committee report showed what could be built under permitted development rights and, because of that, Officers considered there were very special circumstances to allow the proposal shown at Page No. 175 of the Committee report to be permitted.  Upon being taken to the vote, it was

RESOLVED          That the application be PERMITTED in accordance with the Officer recommendation.

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