APPLICATION NO. 02/2021/1179/ PF - LAND AT (PART GARDEN OF) LLYS GWYN, BRYN GOODMAN, RUTHIN, LL15 1EL
To consider an application for the erection of 2 no. detached dwellings and associated works at land (part garden of) Llys Gwyn Bryn Goodman, Ruthin, LL15 1EL (copy attached).
An application for the erection of 2 no. detached dwellings and associated works at land at (part garden of) Llys Gwyn, Bryn Goodman, Ruthin.
Public Speakers – Mr Robert Jones (Agent) (FOR), informed the committee he was a qualified architect registered with the ARB and a member of the RIBA with over 16 years’ experience in the industry. He confirmed he had led the design development of the application. He stated in 2021 an application was submitted to the LPA for the erection of 2 residential properties to the rear of Llys Gwyn, Bryn Goodman following a positive pre-application in2019. The proposal followed the approval of two residential properties to the rear of Pennant in January 2020. He stated this proposal which had also included a subsequent application for an extension, was almost identical to the previous applications in respect of the siting, layout, scale, design, character, materials and aspect. The application presented had been prepared in line with the local planning policy and supplementary guidance. The application had been supported by the LPA with the recommendation to grant. It was stressed interfacing distances to neighbouring properties had been exceeded to not affect the visual amenities of local residents. Properties directly West to the site would be in excess of 32 metres, significantly exceeding the minimum requirement identified in the SPG. This condition was typical for 12 out of the 14 properties adjoining the trunk road to the West of the site. At each of the locations the eastern most properties would be elevated above the western following the local typography of the area. The speaker noted officers were of the opinion that the scheme was acceptable and would not result in unacceptable overlooking or overbearing impact of the neighbouring properties. It was also noted that no objections had been received from the internal consultation process.
General Debate – Councillor Christine Marston informed members that at the site visit, members reviewed the geography and topography of the site, the impact on the surrounding neighbours and the access on to Bryn Goodman. Attendees explored the site and were allowed access to a neighbour’s property to ascertain any visual impact. Councillor Marston felt the site visit was very beneficial to those in attendance. Councillor Peter Scott was also in attendance at the site visit and concurred with Councillor Marston’s views.
Councillor Emrys Wynne (Local Member) confirmed he was also at the site visit. He stated he felt it was important for members to view the site. He informed members that one question that arose at the visit had been in regard to the status of the supporting wall at the rear of the land. Councillor Wynne made reference to the planning permission granted to the neighbouring property stating a main difference being that development did not overlook into any neighbouring properties. Members at the site visit asked for confirmation on the accuracy of the property levels within the report. He informed members that a number of trees had already been removed from the area, prior to the application being presented to members. He confirmed the proposed new builds would be higher than existing properties and certainly would impact visually the neighbours. A number of windows would overlook nearby properties and affect the privacy of the neighbours. He raised concern that the skyline would be changed from trees to housing and would be less visually attractive. Councillor Wynne requested if members were in favour of the application that a condition be imposed to include fencing to ascertain a certain level of privacy. Councillor Emrys Wynne proposed to refuse the application against officer recommendations on privacy and overlooking grounds. Councillor Gwyneth Kensler seconded the proposal for refusal.
Local Member Councillor Bobby Feeley, stated she supported Councillor Wynne in is his objection against the application. She informed members that the plots in the area had large houses on large plots approval of the application would mean 3 houses on 1 plot. In her opinion it was illogical for the proposed properties to overlook neighbouring houses and gardens. Councillor Feeley also raised concern on the standard of the road as it was in extremely poor condition. Access to the property had been made by splitting the existing driveway, with unattractive fencing. It was stressed further development of sites in this area would change the character of the area.
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts (Local Member) highlighted the map of the proposed housing, he stated the one house on one plot was bigger than the two houses proposed put together illustrating the close proximity of the proposed houses. In his opinion the two proposed houses where too big for the plot and did not offer enough space for green space.
The Planning Officer (PO) thanked members for attending the site visit and started by offering further information at the concerns raised at the visit. He informed the committee the site levels of the site had not been surveyed, the information contained in the report was broadly considered sufficiently accurate to enable members to make a decision. The diagrams within the report provided members an illustration of the elevated height of the properties. The trees in the diagram were greyed out to demonstrate the trees being set back on the plot.
The status of any supporting wall was a legal requirement on the developer to ensure no damage to third party land was caused during construction. The wall sat outside the planning application boundary. The guidance states to have a distance of 21 meters, this application was more than that minimum. In officer’s opinion it would be difficult to sustain a refusal on a loss of privacy due to the distances involved and the level changes. The PO directed members to the suggested conditions in the report which included a landscaping plan.
It was highlighted the proposed properties would lie next to Bryn Goodman and former Council properties and would continue the line of dwellings along Haulfryn. It was stated that contractors would have to show consideration to not damage the access road.
Planning policy suggests that sites should be developed at 35 dwellings per hectare unless the character of the area suggested differently. The proposal would be less dwellings per hectare if agreed. There were similar sized buildings in the near facility.
In response, Councillor Bobby Feeley stressed the importance of preventing trees and hedgerow being removed before planning applications were presented to committee. Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts urged members to refuse this application it was his opinion that the properties would not be keeping with the character of the area and would be overbearing.
Councillor Gwyneth Ellis asked officers for further information regarding parking spaces allocated on the land. She stated her understanding standards say each house should have space for 3 cars and additional visitors with turning space at the site. In response the PO confirmed no objections had been received from the highway officer in terms of turning space and parking. In the report it showed spaces at the front of the dwellings were parking would be. Officers were confident that there was sufficient parking and turning space at the site.
Councillor Emrys Wynne stated the houses would be facing west towards lovely views. It was a great concern that the proposed properties would impact the privacy of the existing properties.
The Development Control Manager thanked the local members for their perspective and acknowledged the concerns and opinions of local members. He stated if members felt the application would have an unacceptable impact on residential amenity by way of overlooking or privacy. That would be an acceptable material planning reason to refuse.
With regard to members general concerns about the removal of trees or hedgerows prior to development taking place Officers emphasised that they can only use the controls available in terms of Preservation Orders and hedgerow regulations. It was also confirmed that the site was not in a Conservation Area.
Proposal – Councillor Emrys
Wynne proposed, seconded by Councillor Gwyneth Kensler that the application be
refused against officer recommendation as the development would have an
unacceptable impact on the residential amenity of nearby residential properties
by reason of siting, design and potential loss of privacy.
FOR – 6
AGAINST – 9
ABSTAIN – 2
RESOLVED that permission be REFUSED against officer recommendation for the reasons stated in the proposal above.