The presenting officer introduced the details of the application. There is an addendum to read to members which refers to page 59 under section 5.12 list of the relevant policies, the case officer omitted to place in the DM Policy 33 which is entitled infill, backland, back garden and amenity area. Officers can confirm that policy has been looked into and there is no material change in their recommendation. During the consultation period, no objections
were raised from Highways (subject to conditions) or Environmental Health and Protection.
The Forest Hill Society made no comments. 5 objection letters were received from local
residents raising concerns about overshadowing, overdevelopment, overlooking, parking, design and loss of employment. The officers consider the principle of development acceptable, that design and architectural detailing are of high quality and in context and the applicant had overcome previous reasons for refusal.
Cllr Bourne asked for clarification on width of a Moonlight Drive and emergency vehicle access.
The presenting officer advised that Highways officers carry out those assessments and they did not come back with concerns, the drive is wider than an average car, with an approx. guess the drive is 5-6m wide.
Cllr Bourne asked for clarification whether, in terms of objections and privacy to rear gardens, any windows of the development overlook the rear gardens on Wood Vale. Cllr Clarke (Chair) also asked for clarification on the balconies overlooking.
The presenting officer advised that there are windows on the side of the development but officers are satisfied with the distances in terms of privacy issues. There is approx. 20m if not more to the end of the curtilage of neighbour’s site and then 15m or more from there onwards.
Cllr Kelleher supported Cllr Bourne and raised concerns in terms of emergency vehicles beingable to get in, turn around and get out.
Cllr Clarke (Chair) clarified from previous similar example on the committee that emergency vehicular access is not needed, fire brigade only needs to be able to get fire hoses within the certain distance to the building.
Cllr Johnston-Franklin stated that 4 out of 7 units will not have a dual aspect and that in report under paragraph 6.37 is stated that a number of bedrooms will be served by angled windows and asked approx. what would that number be.
The presenting officer clarified that there would also be skylights placed in the roof which would complement angled windows.
Cllr Copley: It states that bedrooms with angled windows would be within dual aspect flats, does that mean that single aspect flats don’t benefit from these angled windows.
The presenting officer clarified they would only be within dual aspect flats.
The members received verbal representation from Ms Olivia St Armour, planning
consultant at Rapleys, the agent for this application. The applicants who were also present at the meeting were born and grew up in the area. This is the second application submitted for the residential redevelopment of this site, the first was refused in March 2018 and had one single reason for refusal which is, in summary, that the impact of the additional height of the development would be overbearing and harmful for the property at 8 Langton Rise to the southwest. The current application successfully dealt with the reason for the refusal by removing the projecting second floor element immediately behind 8 Langton Rise. The property height at this point is the same as the existing building. This reduced impact on no.8 Langton Rise has been achieved by redesigning the development and changing the mix of units. One 3 bedroom unit is replaced with one 2 bedroom unit.
Regarding the concerns raised by local residents on Wood Vale, the proposal was sensitively designed to ensure that there is no material adverse impact on the amenities of all residents, for example, the separation distance from the rear boundaries of the properties fronting onto Wood Vale would be around 20m with a distance of around 30m to the rear wall of these properties. Equally, the recently approved application for the new dwelling at the rear of 122 Wood Vale shows no side windows facing the application site. The proposal would see change of use of a vacant industrial unit, following an unsuccessful two year marketing exercise. This is partly due to poor vehicular access and proximity to residential neighbours as well as the poor visibility from the road. The restoration of the existing industrial use would be more harmful to the neighbours in terms of noise and disturbance. The currently vacant site has very little prospect of productive employment use, and the proposed land use would make a positive contribution to the borough’s housing needs. The site is partly within a conservation area but it is screened from most public vantage points. The scale and massing is appropriate and architectural detailing is of high quality. The proposal would preserve and enhance the conservation area. It should also be noted that each unit achieves required internal and external space. The site has good access to public transport and sufficient parking on the street. Therefore, members are encouraged to grant planning permission for the development
in line with officer’s recommendation.
Cllr Kelleher raised concerns regarding land contamination as it was previously an
The agent clarified that there is a condition in the report regarding land contamination
that requires relevant assessments to be done.
Cllr Kelleher raised concerns about equality issues by having 3 bedroom unit on the
upper floor and no lift.
The Architect who designed the proposal clarified that there is no need to provide a lift on the development of this scale and in the terms of the units, two ground floor units are one family unit and one bedroom unit which is specifically designed to be accessible for disabled person.
The members received verbal representation from the objector Keith Boniface,
resident of 124 Wood Vale, property adjacent to the proposed development: Local residents are disappointed to see that the developer did not take into consideration their objections, in the previous application sunlight and daylight report is misleading, ignores impacts on the gardens of Wood Vale, and the bulk of an additional floor will create additional problem. The end of the garden is used to grow vegetables, and with this development it would be completely shaded. Cllr Clarke (Chair) added that members could look at Google Earth to see better what it looks like. The objector continued with concerns about balconies and the windows impact on privacy and overlooking on their gardens and the noise impact of the people on the balconies.
The reason why local residents did not object to the original building
being built is that workers would be working during the day and there would be no noise impact in the evening. With other plans for residential properties being built behind 112-122 Wood Vale this is considered an overdevelopment in the area.
Cllr Rathbone asked for a clarification from the officers regarding overlooking to the rear gardens and whether that is something covered by the planning regulations or relates only to the houses, for example overlooking to a window.
The planning officer clarified that it is correct but is also extends onto the potential overshadowing issue including the potential privacy intrusion aspect.
Cllr Clarke (Chair) pointed out to paragraph 6.74 that gives details of sunlight and
Cllr Copley moved the motion to approve officer’s recommendation. This was seconded by Cllr Muldoon. Members voted as follows:
For: Councillors Copley, Adefiranye, Clarke (Chair), Anwar, Bourne, Johnston- Franklin, Kelleher, Muldoon, Paschoud, Rathbone.
Vote was unanimous.
RESOLVED: Approve application DC/17/107209 subject to the conditions from the officer’s report.