Agenda item

Agenda item

Planning Application No. CB/18/00083/FULL (Houghton Conquest & Haynes)


Address:       53 Northwood End Road, Haynes, Bedford, MK45 3QB


Proposed single storey front and rear extension with a double storey side extension with integral garage. Demolish existing garage and shed.


Applicant:     Mr Bennett




The Committee had before it a report regarding Planning Application No. CB/18/00083/FULL for a proposed single storey front and rear extension with a double storey side extension with integral garage and the demolition of the existing garage and shed at 53 Northwood End Road, Haynes, Bedford, MK45 3QB.


In advance of consideration of the application the Committee’s attention was drawn to an additional/amended condition as set out in the Late Sheet.


In advance of consideration the Committee received a representation from Haynes Parish Council under the public participation scheme.


A Member sought clarification from the Parish Council representative regarding the latter’s comment that the foundation for the proposed double storey side extension would have to be partly built the under the neighbour’s side wall in order to centralise the weight distribution.  On receiving confirmation from the Parish Council representative on what he had said the Member advised that this was a Building Regulations issue and not one for the Committee to consider.


The ward Member referred to objections to the application which had been received from a neighbour at No. 53A Northwood End Road and the Parish Council.  She explained that the resident at No. 53A was unable to attend the meeting but he had submitted many documents to the planning officers.  The neighbour had considered the Council’s Design Guidelines in great depth and felt that the Council was, in effect, proposing to not comply with its own Guidelines.  The ward Member referred to the neighbour’s concern that there would not be, as required and confirmed by his own measurements,  a 1m gap between the ground floor side walls of No. 53A and the new extension and  the new gable end wall would be permitted on his boundary line.  In support of his objection the neighbour had referred to issues relating to the street view, the overbearing impact on his property, loss of light, loss of privacy, design, proposed construction materials and loss of amenity space and garden security.  The ward Member referred to the Late Sheet and the proposed additional condition regarding a parking arrangement and asked if the parking arrangement would be submitted for public consultation.


The ward Member then referred to the neighbour’s technical comments before she explained that under the application would result in an extremely cramped development.  Further, the front garden would become a parking area and access to the rear of the property would only be possible through the house itself.  The ward Member commented that, looking at the street scene, there was nothing absolutely consistent in the appearance of the properties.  She therefore suggested that consideration should be given to achieving a level of similarity with the adjoining semi-detached property at No. 51.  The ward Member stated that most properties in the road had gained rear extensions with which she had no issue.  However, and despite the first floor of the side extension being brought inward so it did not project as far out as the ground floor, the proposed side extension would still lead to what she termed a ‘tight boundary’.  The ward Member referred again to the impact of the proposed extension on No. 53A, expressed concern and asked if the Council was willing to contradict its own Guidelines.  She acknowledged that she was unable to suggest an alternative way forward given that there was an inconsistent street scene to provide guidance but objected to the current application on the grounds of size and proximity to the neighbouring dwelling at No. 53A Northwood End Road.


The Chairman stated that the officer report contained, of necessity, a summary of the objections expressed.  He suggested for future guidance that it might have been better for the resident to have emailed his views directly to the Members of the Committee.  In response the ward Member explained that the resident had been in contact with officers on a regular basis from the very beginning of the application and she had said nothing which the planning officers were not already aware off.  She explained that she communicated directly to the planning team rather than to the Committee and she encouraged others to follow the same process.  The ward Member then added that the neighbour had been unable to attend the meeting as he was out of the country and he had expressed extreme upset at not being able to be present.  She had assured the neighbour that she would put his comments forward.  She then indicated that she was willing to read out his highly technical comments to the Committee if required but the essential issue was that there was a very close boundary between Nos. 53 and 53A.


The planning officer responded to the points raised as follows:


·         With regard to the set in distance from the boundary of 1m the Council’s Design Guidelines, whist important, were only guidelines and the officers felt that an inset for the extension of 0.7m was acceptable because otherwise the development would reduce the size of the bedrooms.

·         Whilst the garage did not meet the Design Guidelines it was not included in the minimum parking requirement for the dwelling.  This would be met by the two parking spaces proposed for the frontage which would replace the two existing parking spaces.  In addition there would be a third parking space on-street.

·         Following a query by the Chairman the planning officer confirmed that an additional bedroom would be created as part of the application so the property would become a three bedroom dwelling.  Three parking spaces were suggested and these could be provided, two on the frontage and one on the opposite side of the road.

·         The Chairman referred to the claimed loss of privacy.  The planning officer responded that the new rear window would not overlook the private amenity space of No. 53A’s garden so there would be no loss of privacy.

·         The Chairman referred to the development being out of character with the street view. The planning officer stated that the setting down of the ridge and the setting back was in accordance with the Council’s Guidelines and the scale and design did not impact on the street scene to an unacceptable degree.

·         The Chairman referred to claimed overbearing.  The planning officer stated that there no windows in the rear elevation of No. 53A.  There had been an initial application for a two storey side extension up against the boundary.  However, revised plans had been submitted which set in the first floor of the extension to 0.7m so the overbearing impact had been significantly reduced.  Further, the position of the house would not cause an unacceptable degree of overbearing.

·         The Chairman referred to claimed loss of light.  The planning officer explained that the development had been judged against the usual criteria and had passed.  There was no unacceptable loss of light to the nearest ground and first floor windows of No. 53A.

·         The Chairman referred to a claimed loss of amenity space.  The planning officer responded that, given the size of the application site and the position of the development, the amenity space being offered was acceptable.  He acknowledged the loss of access to the side of the house but it was possible to go through the garage.  Further the development did not take up more than 50% of the available amenity space.  It would not, therefore, affect the living conditions of the occupant or future occupants.

·         The Chairman referred to non-compliance with subsection 7.  A second planning officer advised that this was a reference to the Design Guide and the usual requirement for a distance of 1m to the boundary.


The Committee considered the application and in summary discussed the following:


·         A Member sought clarification regarding the proximity of the proposed side extension to the site boundary.  To assist Members the relevant plans were displayed.  He then queried if it was possible to park a car in the proposed garage and if not, what was the purpose of it.  The Member also asked whether it was possible to move refuse and recycling bins from the back to the front of the house through the gap at the side.  He queried the practicality of the gap and warned that if it was unsuitable then the bins would be left at the front of the dwelling and occupy one of the parking spaces.  He also expressed concern regarding the acceptability of other aspects of the application.  Another Member advised that wheelie bins were 600mm wide and the meeting noted that this would leave a gap of approximately 2” on each side.  The first Member commented that bigger bins could be issued and, if so, would not be able to be manoeuvred through the gap.

·         The Vice-Chairman referred to the plans issued for the Committee’s site inspection visit earlier in the week.  He stated that the ground floor plan showed that No. 53A retained a 1m access gap down the side of the property.   Further, the back of the proposed new garage for the dwelling at No. 53 had a corridor that was approximately 1m wide and lead to a back door into the garden.  Access was therefore available.

·         A Member commented that garages were used for other purposes than for cars including general storage.  Members had been advised by the highways officer at the site inspection that there was adequate parking without the use of the garage.  The Member felt consideration of the size of the garage was a mere distraction and people would use garages as they wished.  However, another Member reminded him that the Council required garages on new build properties to be of a certain size in order that they could be used for storing vehicles or other items.  He acknowledged that if a member of the public chose to not park a vehicle in the garage that was their decision.

·         The Chairman indicated that, should the Committee want to approve the application, he would wish to see the inclusion of the standard condition preventing the conversion of the garage into a habitable room.  In response the second planning officer stressed that the garage had not been taken into account as part of the car parking provision.  He stated that it was possible to withdraw permitted development rights in terms of use of the garage for habitable accommodation if it was considered access from the front to the back of the property was required.  He then highlighted the proposed additional condition on the Late Sheet which required details of parking arrangements, surfacing and bin storage to be submitted and approved which meant control could be exercised on those matters.

·         The Chairman sought clarification regarding the ownership of an area of land to the front of the application.  In response the highways officer stated that there was an overlap in ownership between the applicant and the highway boundary.  However, the overlap could be overcome in relation to the parking provision.  Adequate car parking for two cars could be achieved without interfering with the front of the boundary or the public highway and the condition in the Late Sheet addressed that issue.  The Council’s standard for this type of dwelling was two parking spaces and ideally three.  Two spaces could be provided on the remaining space owned by the applicant.  The third parking space could be a casual parking space on the carriageway.  With regard to the garage the highways officer acknowledged that it was substandard in comparison to the Council’s usual requirements but it wasn’t identified as a parking space.

·         The Chairman referred to the earlier concern regarding the need to go under the neighbour’s fence in order to construct the extension wall.  He stated that whilst, as already mentioned, that could be a Building Regulations issue, it could also be a civil matter.

·         Following a Member’s query the second planning officer advised the meeting of the Design Guide’s parking space requirements and that a minimum of two spaces were required.

·         A Member commented that if the applicant had called the proposed  garage a utility room or bin store the Committee would not have had a problem so to refuse it on the basis that there was insufficient parking because the garage was not suitable for parking in was not substantial enough.   If there were two suitable parking spaces on the front of the property and a possible third on the road the Member stated that he did not see how the Committee could refuse the application using inadequate parking as the reason for doing so.

·         A Member referred to comment by the highways officer in the report that parking provision was inadequate and sought clarification on the apparent contradiction with what had been said at the meeting.  Another Member referred him to the Late Sheet and the additional condition which met the highways officer’s requirements.  Reference was also made to the site inspection and how the officers had advised that there had been some ambiguity regarding the curtilage at the front of No. 53 but it had been resolved.

·         A Member, whilst expressing sympathy for the ward Member and the neighbour at No. 53A, felt the officers had dealt with their concerns.


On being put to the vote 8 Members voted for approval, 3 voted against and 2 abstained.




that Planning Application No. CB/18/00083/FULL for a proposed single storey front and rear extension with a double storey side extension with integral garage and the demolition of the existing garage and shed at 53 Northwood End Road, Haynes, Bedford, MK45 3QB be approved as set out in the Schedule attached to these minutes.




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