The Planning Officer presented this report for the application. The application was before Members due to the submission of a petition against the application, with 21 signatures. The application was for the addition of an extra storey via the self-contained flat, to provide a two bedroom, three person flat.
The current proposal was largely identical to the scheme granted planning permission in May 2017, which would have also seen a mansard roof extension to provide a two bedroom, three person flat.
The former public house was converted to accommodation almost 20 years, as so the principal of an addition residential accommodation was not objectionable. The proposed roof extension by virtue of its mass in size and setback within the existing roof footprint would result in for the dwelling that would not set back the amenity of the neighbouring buildings or the surrounding area. The standard of residential space was considered acceptable.
Officers had not identified any adverse impacts to transport or flood risk vulnerability, therefore the officer recommendation for the application was for approval, subject to the conditions set out in the Committee report. For note, the officer pointed out an error on condition 6 of the report- the condition whereby the details of landscaping be submitted prior to commencement should rather state they should be submitted and approved prior to occupation.
The agent for the application presented on behalf of the applicant. He stated the following:
The objections had been considered throughout the process of the application and all matters were appropriately dealt with as seen in the officer’s report. The proposed work is policy compliant. The planning history of the property was important for Members to consider- in 2017 planning permission was granted by Lewisham Council and the decision was made under the same planning policies. There had been no material changes in policy to suggest a different decision should have been reached. He stated that as consistency in decision making is important and vital component in the planning process and asked that Members give that due weight.
He further discussed three considerations 1) the impact on neighbours- the planned work will not produce a lack of light or vision for the neighbours and the height difference between the existing building and surrounding buildings it is unlikely to result in any overlooking. 2) the design- the flat is a well-considered layout as officers agreed and complies with the London Plan Minimum Internal Space standards and 3) sustainable transport- there are 8 cycle spaces to the benefit of the proposed occupants and the existing occupants. This is secured by planning permission considerations.
The objector spoke on behalf of a number of parties who reside on the same street. He raised the following points:
Regarding the quality of the proposed accommodation, he stated that there is a failure to meet the 2.5m height requirement in the proposed development and that the there is a lack of a high quality outlook because of the wall outside of the windows. He said that the lack of a private amenity space is required by section 26- although the landscaping at the front of the property is proposed to compensate for this, objectors do not believe that this will be sufficient as it would be impractical as an amenity space and is not easily accessible for residents of the development. The development is only marginally within the minimum floor space requirements so the overall result is not of high quality.
The objector asked Members to consider the combined impact of the development and the already approved planning application for the construction of the 3 storey development immediately adjacent to the building. This was approved in August 2020 and is a very positive development, however further development of the property above on the roof would cause an unacceptable level of disruption for residents. The proposed timeline for said development and the deadline for the adjacent development would mean that there would be disruption of about 18 months which is excessively long. As many residents now work from home, it would be difficult for them to work under such conditions. The Human Right to residents’ peaceful enjoyment of property and respect to public and family life, the combined impact of these two developments would interfere with this.
The planning officer clarified that the ceiling height is guidance in the London Plan and is not guidance.
Councillor Smith moved in favour of the officer’s recommendation to approve the application and was seconded by the Chair.
Members present for this item voted 5 in favour and 1 vote against.
The application was approved.