Agenda item

2020/0894 Qaro, Pyrford Heath, Woking


[NOTE 1: In accordance with the procedure for public speaking at Planning Committee, Mr Andrew Grimshaw attended the meeting and spoke in objection to the application. The applicant chose not to address the Committee.]


The Committee considered an application for prior notification for enlargement of a dwelling house by construction of an additional storey, with proposed ridge height of 8.2m (amended description to include height).


The Planning Officer explained that the application was a Prior Approval application under Class AA (b), Part 1, Schedule 2 of The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (2015) (as amended) and that there were very limited criteria that it could be assessed against. As detailed in the report, the Planning Officer explained that the application complied with these limited criteria.


Councillor M Whitehand commented that it would be a shame to lose another bungalow in the Borough and see it converted to a two storey property.


Councillor L Morales commented that she had concerns that this timber framed property would not be able to support a second storey extension. The Councillor also had concerns that if approved, the applicant could potentially come back sometime later and apply to demolish the existing building and build a new dwelling in its place; Councillor L Morales asked for reassurance from Planning Officers regarding this point. Planning Officer reiterated that as permitted development, the scope against which the application could be assessed was very limited and there was little scope for refusal.


Councillor L Lyons commented that the extension would not be in keeping with the character of the buildings in the surrounding area and suggested it would breach CS21. Councillor L Lyons proposed and it was duly seconded by Councillor M Whitehand that the application be refused on these grounds. Thomas James, Development Manager, advised the Members that the assessment criteria was down to the character and appearance of the dwelling itself, not the surrounding area, so it was likely to be deemed unsound to propose refusal on these grounds as it was not within the criterion remit. Councillor L Lyons heeded the Development Managers advice and withdrew his motion to refuse, Councillor M Whitehand supported this. Councillor L Lyons commented that he still considered the proposed application to be out of keeping.


Following a query regarding privacy issues of neighbouring properties, the Planning Officer confirmed that there would be no windows allowed on the side elevations, however installation of windows would be allowed on the rear. These windows would give additional views over neighbouring gardens, but this was not considered to cause a level of harm that the application could be refused on.


Following a query regarding the front appearance of the property, the Planning Officer advised that the application did include material details and it was proposed that a repeat of the existing materials be used. This would not be ground for refusal.


The Committee were frustrated by the limited scope to assess the application against as many supported the concerns detailed in the representation section of the report.


One of the Planning Officers in attendance at the meeting (but not involved in this application) raised a query regarding the ridge height of the existing property and questioned whether this might affect the permitted development rights. Mr James suggested to the Chairman that in light of this comment, if the Committee were in agreement, it would be sensible to defer this application to get clarification on this matter. The Chairman agreed.


Councillor L Morales proposed and it was duly seconded by Councillor L Lyons, that the application be deferred to seek clarification on the ridge height and whether new legislation overrides previous requirements and the effect of these on the permitted development rights.


It was noted that the timescales for determination of permitted development cases were very strict and if it was not possible for this application to come back to the Planning Committee meeting on 2 February 2021 for determination, delegated authority would be given to the Development Manager to determine the application with consent of the Chairman. The Committee supported this approach.




That the application be deferred.


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