The Planning Inspectorate has dismissed an appeal from an award-winning Penarth architect – Chris Loyn – against the Vale Council’s refusal of planning consent for a new home he wanted to build in his back garden.
Mr Loyn had proposed to build a two storey house facing onto a back lane at the rear of his home at 21 Victoria Road, Penarth
In February this year the Vale of Glamorgan Council had refused planning permission because – as it said in an internal report – the scheme “represents an unacceptable and inappropriate form of “back land” residential development that does not respect the established function of this rear lane location nor the prevailing pattern of surrounding development and therefore would not serve to preserve or enhance the character of this part of the conservation area.”.
Permission to demolish existing buildings in the back garden of 21 Victoria Road was also refused.
Mr Loyn then appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against the Vale Council decisions.
The Planning Inspectorate’s inspector – Joanne Burston – in considering the appeal, identified two issues:-
- the effect of the proposal on the character and appearance of the Penarth Conservation Area, residents’ living conditions and highway safety.
- whether in the absence of an acceptable scheme of redevelopment, the proposed demolition would preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the Penarth Conservation Area.
Ms Burston says “backland development is not a feature of this part of Penarth and residential development fronting the rear lane would alter the established secondary function of the area.”
She also points out that “The new building would take up nearly the whole width of the land available and would be higher than the neighbouring outbuildings. This bulky and much more solid form would, to my mind, dominate this part of the Conservation Area, which is characterised by modest garages and outbuildings which are ancillary to the dwellings fronting Victoria Road. It would be poorly related to, and would fail to respect, this tight knit ancillary character of the buildings and spaces, so its siting would be harmfully intrusive and would erode the historic character of this part of the Conservation Area.
Ms Burton says the rear of the proposed new house would have faced the rear gardens of adjoining and neighbouring dwellings but the existing trees and mature vegetation “would not be sufficient to protect the privacy of the occupiers of the neighbouring dwellings.
“Consequently” she says ” I consider that the backland position of the proposed dwelling with its associated terrace feature would give rise to a significant perception of overlooking of these neighbouring garden areas.”
She also rules that “the proposed demolition [of the existing outbuildings] would fail to preserve or enhance the character or the appearance of the Penarth Conservation Area”. Both appeals are therefore dismissed – and the full adjudication can be found on http://tinyurl.com/zkkkr46
Dr Max Wallis of the environmental organisation Friends of the Earth said “We are pleased this has been turned down, for this development would have undermined basic conservation area principles, and set a precedent for selling off gardens for brash modern designs on narrow back-lanes.”
There had been several letters of objection from local Friends of the Earth members and nearby homes on Victoria Avenue.