The application seeks full planning permission for alterations and extensions to the roof of the building to allow for the creation of 2 administration/office rooms, a bathroom and kitchenette for staff within the roof space. The works include the raising of the overall roof height by just under 1.5 metres, the insertion of 4 no. high level roof lights to the rear, insertion of 1 no. end gable window overlooking the car park and the erection of 3 no. pitched roof dormer windows to the front elevation. The application has been amended to now incorporate the regularisation of the 1.8 metre fence that has been erected enclosing the car park and to include the formal laying out of the existing parking areas into bays.
It was reported that this application had been referred to the Planning Committee at the request of Councillor Coley due to his concerns with the alterations to the roof being out of character and impinging on the privacy and visual aspect of neighbouring properties; and due to the increase in staff numbers being unsupported by the existing car parking area.
Members were made aware that the application related to the long established Lawford Surgery located on the corner of Edgefield Avenue and Colchester Road within the Settlement Development Boundary of Lawford as defined within both the adopted Tendring District Local Plan 2007 and the emerging Tendring District Local Plan 2013-2033 and Beyond Publication Draft 2017. The rear boundary of the site adjoined the rear of the newly constructed bungalows within Florence Gardens on the Summers Park development.
The Committee was advised that the application sought full planning permission for alterations and extensions to the roof of the building in order to allow for the creation of 2 administration/office rooms, a bathroom and kitchenette for staff within the roof space. The works included the raising of the overall roof height by just under 1.5 metres, the insertion of 4 no. high level roof lights to the rear, insertion of 1 no. end gable window overlooking the car park and the erection of 3 no. pitched roof dormer windows to the front elevation. The application had been subsequently amended to now incorporate the regularisation of the 1.8 metre fence that had been erected enclosing the car park and to include the formal laying out of the existing parking areas into bays.
It was considered that the raising of the roof and resulting roof pitch would not result in any material loss of sunlight, daylight or outlook to neighbouring properties due to the separation distance and minor scale of the alterations. The proposed roof lights were high level with the bottom windowsill being approximately 1.7 metres above the finished floor level meaning that no harmful overlooking or loss of privacy would occur. The dormer windows were in proportion with the overall scale of the building and resultant roof being acceptable in design terms. The distance to neighbouring properties opposite ensured no harmful overlooking would result from the dormer windows.
Members were informed that the site was located within a well built up residential area. Edgefield Avenue was characterised by bungalows and Colchester Road was characterised by 2 storey dwellings. The proposed development and resultant 1.5 storey appearance was not considered by Officers to be harmful in this mixed character area.
In the absence of any material harm and having regard to the benefits of the scheme for local residents from the improved medical facilities, the application was therefore recommended for approval.
The Committee had before it the published Officer report containing the key planning issues, relevant planning policies, planning history, any response from consultees, written representations received and a recommendation of approval.
At the meeting, an oral presentation was made by the Council’s Planning Officer (AL) in respect of the application.
An update sheet had been circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting with details of:
(1) 1 additional letter of objection received (from a previous objector). The points raised can be summarised and addressed as follows (officer response in italics);
- If approved, sets a precedent for all bungalows in the area wishing to add height to their properties, e.g. all of Edgefield Avenue and the bungalows in Florence Gardens.
- Could result in a significant change to the character of the area.
Liz Dunnett, a local resident, spoke against the application.
Councillor Coley, a local Ward Member, spoke against the application.
Following discussion by the Committee, it was moved by Councillor Alexander, seconded by Councillor Bray and RESOLVED that the Acting Assistant Director (Planning) (or equivalent authorised officer) be authorised to grant planning permission for the development, subject to:
- Full obscured glazed windows together with rear roof lights at top level as agreed by the agent.
- Opening hours to remain for staff as to be agreed by surgery manager.
Conditions and Reasons:
1) The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission.
Reason - To comply with the requirements of Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
2) The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: 54-2019-04PA, 54-2019-03P and 54-2019-05PA.
Reason - For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.
3) Notwithstanding the details shown on the approved plans, the lower half of the 3 no. dormer windows on the south facing front elevation of the building shall be obscure glazed up to a mid-point of 0.5 metres. The obscure glazing shall be installed prior to occupation of the development and retained in this approved form in perpetuity.
Reason – In the interests of residential amenity.
4) Prior to the commencement of development, a Construction Method Statement shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority. The Construction Method Statement shall provide for:
- safe access to/from the site;
- the parking of vehicles of site operatives and visitors;
- the loading and unloading of plant and materials;
- the storage of plant and materials used in constructing the development;
- wheel washing facilities;
- measures to control the emission of dust and dirt during demolition and construction;
- a scheme for recycling/disposing of waste resulting from demolition and construction works;
- details of hours of deliveries relating to the demolition and construction of the development;
- details of hours of site clearance and construction;
- a scheme to control noise and vibration during the demolition and construction phase, including details of any piling operations.
The approved Construction Method Statement shall be adhered to throughout the construction period for the development.
Reason - To ensure that on-street parking of these vehicles in the adjoining streets does not occur and to ensure that loose materials and spoil are not brought out onto the highway in the interests of highway safety.
5) Prior to occupation of the development, the vehicle parking area including any parking spaces for the mobility impaired, shall be marked out in parking bays in accordance with approved drawing number 54-2019-05PA. The vehicle parking area and associated turning area shall be retained in this form at all times. The vehicle parking shall not be used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles that are related to the use of the development unless otherwise agreed with the Local Planning Authority.
Reason - To ensure that on street parking of vehicles in the adjoining streets does not occur in the interests of highway safety.
6) Prior to the occupation of the development, details of the siting and design of secure, convenient, covered Cycle / Powered Two-wheeler parking that accords with the Parking Standards shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details and retained in its approved form unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.
Reason - To ensure appropriate cycle / powered two-wheeler parking is provided in the interest of highway safety.
7) All changes in ground levels, hard landscaping, planting, seeding or turfing shown on the approved landscaping details drawing number 54-2019-05PA shall be carried out during the first planting and seeding season (October - March inclusive) following the commencement of the development or in such other phased arrangement as may be agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Any trees or shrubs which, within a period of 5 years of being planted die, are removed or seriously damaged or seriously diseased shall be replaced in the next planting season with others of similar size and species, unless the Local Planning Authority agrees in writing to a variation of the previously approved details.
Reason - In the interest of visual amenity.