The Development Management Team Leader presented the report by remote link and recommended approval of this application as set out in the report. A copy of the visual presentation had previously been forwarded to the Committee.
Rosemary Thew (Blakeney Parish Council)
Steven Howes (supporting)
Councillor V Holliday stated that she had called in this application as, whilst there were planning reasons why it should be approved, the dwelling would appear inappropriate in the streetscape, with the main concerns being the first floor windows, scale and boundary treatment. She referred to the history of the site. She considered that the boundary treatment and gates gave an urban appearance which was out of character with the village setting, and it appeared that the biodiversity implications of removing the hedge had not been taken into account. In her opinion, the proposal could be considered contrary to Policies EN1, EN2, EN4 and EN9.
The Chairman asked if the lighting could be conditioned and if it was possible to do anything about the gates.
The Assistant Director for Planning advised the Committee with regard to the limited weight carried by the Blakeney Neighbourhood Plan at this stage and also with regard to the imposition of conditions and the commitment given by the applicants’ agent to abide by them.
Councillor J Toye stated that he had viewed the site on Google Streetview and considered that the recommendation was correct. He considered that it would be reasonable to negotiate in respect of the lighting. He understood that the gates had already been approved on a previous application. The Planning Inspector considered that the first floor was acceptable. He was disappointed that the applicants had approached the planning process in the way that they had, and stated that it was important that the storage area did not become a habitable room. He proposed acceptance of the Officer’s recommendation subject to the resolution of issues regarding lighting and the gates.
Following questions to the Development Management Team Leader, it was established that the gates had not been included in the previous permission and were a technical breach of planning permission. Councillor Toye requested that appropriate action be taken to include them in the retrospective application or remove them.
Councillor N Pearce expressed his disapproval of retrospective applications and the breaches of planning law by the applicants. He did not support this application.
Councillor A Yiasimi stated that the applicants’ agent had given a commitment to rectify the breaches to an acceptable standard.
Councillor R Kershaw stated that he had looked at the photographs and also viewed the site on Streetview. He was mindful of the Planning Inspector’s decision and whilst he was concerned about retrospective applications, he seconded the proposal subject to consideration of the lighting and the gates.
The Assistant Director for Planning informed the Committee that the submitted plans showed a fence line and gates but did not include elevational details. The Committee could impose a condition to require details of the gates to be submitted or alternatively, to require that the gates be omitted from the proposals. However, on investigation it could be found that the gates were permitted development and if so, the local Member and Parish Council would be informed. He recommended that delegation be given to Officers to consider matters of detail regarding the gates and piers.
Councillor Toye was content that this matter should be investigated and reported back to the local Member and Parish Council, and dealt with as appropriate, provided that appropriate conditions were included.
The Assistant Director of Planning stated that recommendation included that the final wording of conditions be delegated to him.
The proposer and seconder indicated that they were happy to proceed on this basis.
RESOLVED by 10 votes to 1 with 1 abstention
That this application be approved in accordance with the recommendation of the Assistant Director of Planning, subject to consideration of matters of detail of the gates and piers.