RESOLVED that the application be REFUSED for the construction of a single storey rear and side extension at 41 Drakefell Road, SE14. The reason for refusal was the proposed extension by virtue of its siting, scale, form and design, would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the host property in the Telegraph Hill Conservation Area causing the loss of a prominent historical architectural feature
8.1 The Planning Officer, gave an illustrative presentation recommending the grant planning permission for the construction of a single storey rear and side extension at 41 Drakefell Road, SE14.subject of the conditions and informatives in the report.
8.2 The Committee noted the report and that the main issues were:
•Principle of Development
• Urban Design
• Impact on Adjoining Properties
8.3 Members were advised that the foliage masking the extension was in the park and therefore the responsibility of the Council to maintain. Officers did not consider that the applicant needed extra planting on their property because the foliage in the park was of a good quality.
8.4 The agent addressed the Committee. He said that the applicant was conscious of the sensitive location of the site and would ensure that the extension would not have a harmful impact on the Telegraph Hill Conservation Area. The proposed extension would retain the existing side bay window and would use high quality materials.
8.5 The proposed roof extension would be fully compliant with the Council’s local policy and there would be a clear distinction between the traditional host building and the contemporary extension.
8.6 The existing vegetation on the boundary with the park would provide sufficient screening for the extension and the impact on the character of the Conservation Area would be negligible. Planning permission had been granted for a contemporary extension in a property opposite the application site and had less vegetation screening in place.
8.7 The Chair of the Telegraph Hill Society addressed the Committee. He was opposed to the application which would be very visible to the public realm if granted. He reminded those present, of his previous statement that a traditional design could be a more sensitive response to an historic building.
8.8 The Chair of the Society said that in a conservation area, uniformity of style was important. This application did not satisfy two local policy conditions. The extension was not in keeping with the character of the area nor did it respect the original design and architectural feature. These were legal considerations and grounds for objection.
8.9 The following points were raised by members.
· This application failed the test of being visible from the public realm.
· The non-traditional nature of the extension was not in keeping with the character of the conservation area
· The report was inconsistent regarding the impact the extension would have on the Conservation Area. Just because an incongruous extension had been built on the other side of the entrance to the park, this should not be a relevant factor for members when considering this application.
8.10 The Presiding Officer addressed some of the issues that had been made. He said that officers did not intend to give members the impression that if an extension could not be seen from the public realm, then it did not matter. Significance tended to diminish as a structure became less visible but was still an important consideration. Officers required high quality design and materials in Conservation Areas. A contemporary scheme was not necessarily harmful if visible. It depended on the extent to which the significance of the heritage asset was affected.
8.11 The Service Group Manager explained the Council’s Article 4 direction which removes permitted development rights if the structure was visible from the public realm.
8.12 Precedent was explained by the officer. He said that precedent did not exist in planning but there was material consideration. If there was an extension nearby that was relevant, it was a material planning consideration and members should give this the weight they considered appropriate when making their decision.
8.13 Contrasting architectural styles in a conservation area was discussed as well as the appropriate materials used in traditional and modern approaches. The Presiding Officer explained that officers had considered the significant components of the host building and extension. He said that the application was for a small scheme and the applicant had adopted a modest approach to the architecture which was a sufficient contrast for it to be acceptable.
8.14 A member said that 41 Drakefell Road was located at the entrance to the park and was a significant site. It was a gateway and the buildings either side of the park were of significant historic interest. The vegetation was not permanent and could be removed at any time so there would not be any screening.
8.15 It was suggested that consideration of this application be deferred, and further clarification requested because a picture of the extension was required before a decision could be made, but other members agreed that a picture could present an unrealistically positive image. A member requested that in future, a CGI mock up in scale should be provided as a matter of course. There was a comment that an architectural drawing was enough to imagine how the extension and its surroundings would look. The design was not distinctly modern, nor was it a restoration in similar material to the host building. Although visibility from the public realm was not an absolute, a judgement needed to be made. On the basis that the extension would cause a detrimental level of harm to the character of the conservation area, it was suggested that the application be refused.
8.16 The following issues were given as a reason to refuse the application:
· The proposed extension by virtue of its siting, scale, form, and design, would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the host property in the Telegraph Hill Conservation Area causing the loss of a prominent historical architectural feature.
· The siting of the property was significant because it was a gateway to Telegraph Hill Park with original buildings either side of the entrance. Despite the harm caused to the character of the property on the other side of the entrance, this should not be compounded by the grant of the application at 41 Erlanger Road.
· The side extension was particularly problematic because of the visibility from the public realm. The existing natural vegetation on the boundary wall with the park was not considered sufficient screening to ensure that the extension was not significantly visible. The screening relied on ephemeral poor vegetation screening.
· The style of the windows on the side extension and the roof was incongruous with the rest of the windows at the property. The application was one large window; the original windows were multi paned.
8. 17 The Committee considered the submissions made at the meeting and
RESOLVED that planning permission be REFUSED for the construction of a single storey rear and side extension at 41 Drakefell Road, SE14 for the following reason, with the precise wording delegated to Officers:
The proposed extension by virtue of its siting, scale, form, and design, would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the host property in the Telegraph Hill Conservation Area causing the loss of a prominent historical architectural feature, having particular regard to its important and visible gateway location to Telegraph Hill Park and the incongruity of its fenestration.