VALE VOTES THROUGH CONTROVERSIAL CONSERVATION-AREA DEVELOPMENT

No 84 was one of three "modern" houses built in Plymouth Road in the 1960s. Plans to extend it to teh right had side and rear attracted 6 objections from local people. The congtroversial yew tree is to the rear.

No 84 Plymouth Road was one of three “modern” houses built in the 1960s in what is now the Penarth Conservation Area . Plans to extend the house to the right-hand side and the rear attracted 6 objections from local people. The elderly yew tree which –  it’s argued –  could be damaged by the proposed extension’s foundations is to the rear of the yellow-brick Edwardian property next door .

The Vale of Glamorgan Council has over-ruled objections from six residents of Plymouth Road, Penarth and given planning consent to a major re-development a 1960s detached house – No 84 Plymouth Rd – which stands within the Penarth Conservation Area.

The house is one of a group of four detached homes built in the 1960s which are surrounded by classic  Victorian and Edwardian-era houses.

What the proposed re-developed house will look like with the planned new extension on the right hand side. The proposed new "garage" - the Vale Council planning committee heard - is actually too small to be a garage and up to 2 cars will be parked on the drive .

What the proposed re-developed house will look like with the planned new extension on the right hand side. The proposed new “garage” – the Vale Council planning committee heard – is actually too small to be a garage and up to 2 cars will be parked on the drive .

The plan is to construct a two-storey side-extension (including an integral “garage”) to replace the existing utility area, garage and car port. A “canopy style porch area with tiled
roof “ would be built over the existing front entrance door. A single storey workshop will be removed.

When the plan to extend No 84 Plymouth Rd was first submitted, Penarth Town Council’s planning committee had made no objections – but it later became clear that a number of local residents were very concerned about the scheme and the impact it would have on the Penarth Conservation Area.

In a tight vote - where there was a majority of only one vote, new planning member St Augustine's Cllr Lis Burnett's vote was crucial

In a tight vote – where there was a majority of only one- the vote of a new planning member Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustines) was crucial to the outcome

Almost all Labour planning committee members representing  Penarth wards were absent from last night’s Vale Council planning meeting, including Cllr Janice Birch (Stanwell), Cllr Rhiannon Birch (Cornerswell), Cllr Mark Wilson (Stanwell).

One surprise appearance though was that of Cllr Lis Burnett (Labour St Augustine’s) who has not been a member of the planning committee until now – but has apparently taken the place of Cllr Pam Drake (Labour Castleland Barry)  on the Vale Planning Committee.

The 84 Plymouth Road  application had been “called-in” for discussion by the full committee by Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) following concerns expressed to him by local people.

Vale of Glamorgan Council Planning Officer Victoria Robinson

Vale of Glamorgan Council “Operational Manager Development Management” Victoria Robinson

The Vale’s Operational Manager Development Management, Victoria Robinson, said the development was in what she called “the heart of the conservation area” but what was proposed was what she described as “a relatively straightforward two storey side extension set down and set back from the frontage so that it’s subordinate in scale to the original house.”

Ms Robinson said there had been a number of objections from neighbouring properties raising concerns in terms of “the impact on the conservation area and particular concerns in respect of a yew tree on adjoining neighbouring land” which had been recognised as “an  important Conservation Area tree” . 

She said thetree officerhad been satisfied that the necessary conditions could be attached to protect the tree and that the planning officers had recommended the planning committee should approve the planning application.

Mr and Mrs Anthony Cousins live at 86 Plymouth Rd - an Edwardian house next door to the proposed development - and set out their objections at last night's Vale planning committee

Mr and Mrs Anthony Cousins live at 86 Plymouth Rd – an Edwardian house next door to the proposed development – and set out their objections at last night’s Vale Council planning committee

Next door neighbours Judith and Anthony Cousins – on whose land the yew tree stands – then addressed the committee. Anthony Cousins said that the extension to No 84 Plymouth Rd would be built within half a metre of the trunk of the yew tree in his rear garden –  and he thought damage to the tree would be inevitable. The regulations, he said, called for a 7.2 metre radius around the tree in which contractors could not operate. He thought contractors would have to remove at least 30% of the tree. Mr Cousins also queried the impact on residential amenities . He said “two storey infill buildings did not exist in Plymouth Rd” permission for such a development had never been granted before.

He said the plans meant that a 8-metre-high – and 8-metre-wide wall would now face the main entrance to his next door property just 3.85 metres from his front door and front sitting room (His main entrance is at the side of his house). It was – he said not a pleasant prospect”. He said building should not be allowed closer that 14 metres away from a building with a side elevation, front door and living rooms .

Mr Cousins said this was not just an extension, –  it was actually going to be a completely new white modern-building slap-bang in the middle of the Conservation Area. It should not be built

His wife, Mrs Judith Cousins, pointed out that 84 Plymouth Road was one of a pair of detached 1960s built properties . The remodelling involved would it no longer matching its twin at No 82 . It would “stand out as being unique in a road of over a 100 houses of which only 4 are not Victorian or Edwardian”. She said the application was “very un-neighbourly”.

Planning Manager  Victoria Robinson said that as far as neighbourhood impact was concerned, planning officers had decided it would be what she described as “an acceptable degree of impact” .

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Dinas Powys) and Cllr Nic Hodges (Plaid Baruc) both opposed the application

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Dinas Powys) and Cllr Nic Hodges (Plaid Baruc) were both doubtful about the planning proposal and queried both the environmental impact and the proposed new “garage” which – as it turned out – will be far too small to be used as a garage.

Cllr Chris Franks (Plaid Cymru Dinas Powys) said he found it difficult to believe that the building work would not adversely affect the yew tree and doubted whether the tree could survive such dramatic engineering work.  Officer Robinson re-iterated her previous assurances. and said officers would not be recommending approval to the committee unless they were satisfied that the tree could be protected.

Cllr Audrey Preston (Conservative St Brides Major)

Cllr Audrey Preston (Conservative St Brides Major)

Cllr Audrey Preston (Conservative St Brides Major)  queried the proximity of the wall to the neighbour’s front door. She thought it was extremely un-neighbourly to have “a wall right across people”. The neighbours would lose not only a view but a lot of things at the front of their house – she said. “It seems very close“, she said.

Planning Manager Robinson said “It is no doubt closer than the existing house – and these matters are a matter of subjective judgment.” But she claimed that “this is not an uncommon form of extension to a semi-detached house”

[PDN Note In fact No 84 Victoria Rd is a detached house – not a “semi-detached house”  but the Operational Manager Development Management, Victoria Robinson, seemed not to be aware of this] .

Planning Manager  Robinson went on to say “It is unfortunate when people’s outlook changes – then that obviously has an adverse impact on them to a degree. We have to judge whether that adverse impact is so severe as to warrant refusal of planning permission – and we judged that in this case it is not.”

Cllr Nic Hodges (Plaid Barus)

Cllr Nic Hodges (Plaid Barus)

Cllr Nic Hodges (Plaid Baruc) said the application included a “car port and garage”  but then he saw that elsewhere in the application it was stated that the “integral garage proposed is not considered large enough to park a car based on current standards”.

He asked whether this “integral garage”  – which did not seem to be of any use as a garage – might be later converted into a “living space”.

He said that under the scheme a car port and garage were being removed –  to be replaced with an “integral garage” of limited use.

Planning Manager Robinson said the planning officers’ report was quite explicit  in stating that the integral garage would not be a parking space. The assessment was that there would still be room for two vehicles to park off-road at the front of the house . It did not matter to the council whether the garage was used or not.

Cllr Bob Penrose (Independent Sully)

Cllr Bob Penrose (Independent Sully)

Cllr Bob Penrose (Independent Sully) wanted to know why – as this building would be in the Conservation Area – the applicants had not submitted details of the colour of the render of the completed building.

Victoria Robinson said this was a matter normally left to the officers to consider at a delegated level. Cllr Penrose said councillors needed to know what the building was going to look like and whether it would be incongruous with the rest of the area

Cllr Andrew Parker said “I’m looking at a garage which is not a garage.”  He asked Officer Robinson whether she was happy that two parking places were enough for a four-bedroom property. Officer Robinson said two places was satisfactory.

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) had "called-in" the planning application and voted against it

Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) had “called-in” the planning application and voted against it

Cllr Clive Williams ( Conservative Plymouth Ward) who had called in the application said  – he felt every sympathy for the objectors because their objections had been well laid out and very valid.  They had lived in  their home for many years and it was now totally affected by the proposed  alterations to the adjacent property.

Cllr Williams, speaking as a Plymouth Ward councillor, formally moved that the Vale planning committee should refuse the application .

Seven councillors voted for refusal, but eight – mostly Labour – councillors including the chairman (Mayor of the Vale of Glamorgan Cllr Fred Johnson) voted in favour of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s planning officers’ recommendation that planning permission should be given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to VALE VOTES THROUGH CONTROVERSIAL CONSERVATION-AREA DEVELOPMENT

  1. anne says:

    Are cabinet members allowed to serve on the planning committee? I am shocked that Lis Burnett voted against the interests of Penarths conservation area. This shows no respect for Penarth or its people. So much for the future of Penarth with councillors like this making the decisions. Where were the cllrs representing Penarth?. I hope the labour politicians at tonights future of penarth meeting have a more enlightened vision.

  2. Chloe says:

    So glad to see this has been approved. In my opinion these three ‘modern’ houses have always let such a lovely road down – this looks to be a big improvement!

  3. Timothy Hughes says:

    Where the adjacent property has a main side entrance then a large extension on the boundary can be overbearing. In this case the front door looks a bit closer to the road than the neighbour’s new proposed extension and it looks as if the proposed extension is set back slightly but it is difficult to judge from a front elevation.

  4. Ivor Bagman says:

    Meanwhile the are stripping the house
    Across from the library
    Of copper and lead.

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