The owner of the £1,000,000 house which collapsed in Clinton Road, Penarth earlier this year has now launched a legal planning appeal against the Vale of Glamorgan Council after its refusal to allow him to build a replacement.
The owner Dr Sid Gautham – a cosmetic surgeon – had commissioned a large extension to the original traditional detached house – a project which included digging out a new subterranean basement partially beneath the existing structure.
To the concern of neighbours on either side, the entire rear of the house collapsed into the excavations.
What remained of the front of the wrecked house was demolished a few days later – although the Vale Council had not been asked for, nor given, any planning permission to permit such demolition.
Subsequently – after it had already been flattened – the householder’s representatives did ask the Vale Council (retrospectively) for permission to demolish the original structure and replace it with an entirely new house.
The Vale Council refused to allow construction of the new house on two grounds:-
“1. By reason of its scale and form, the proposed replacement dwelling represents a poorly designed, incongruous and cramped form of development that fails to respect the existing character and appearance of the immediate surrounding area, and would have a significant adverse impact on the character of the street scene”.
2 By reason of its scale, form, siting and relationship to neighbouring properties, the proposed replacement dwelling would represent an unreasonably overshadowing and overbearing form of development that would unacceptably impact upon the amenities of neighbours”.
But Dr Gautam doesn’t agree and is now taking his case to the Planning Inspectorate – which has the power to over-rule the Vale of Glamorgan Council
The planning appeal stays “The North, East & South elevations have not encroached any further than the building line of the previously approved application. We would like to reiterate that we, upon taking into consideration both neighbouring properties and after discussing with both neighbours, felt that the 5m separation with No. 16 [ i.e. No 16 Clinton Road] and 8m separation with No. 12 [ i.e. No 12 Clinton Road] were more than adequate when compared to properties in the immediate vicinity.”
Dr Gautam’s appeal claims that the neighbour at No. 16 Clinton Road “did not object to the proposed scheme”.
He points out that “The proposed design has a full length single storey garage with an eaves height at the boundary with No. 16 of 2.4m. It had been agreed with the applicants and owners of No. 16 to erect a 1.8 metre-high brick-wall along the boundary.”
The planning appeal also includes a solar chart to rebut the Vale Council’s assertion that the that neighbouring houses would be “overshadowed” by the proposed new house.
Dr Gautam also says “With regards to the overbearing nature of the scheme the proposed does not encroach further South into the garden than was previously approved.” and adds that No. 12 Clinton Road “has a large garden area and the proposed scheme would not harm the privacy nor its amenity”.
The appeal document says ” The architectural style used for the proposed building has been unfairly targeted as there are no common house types along Clinton Road and the author believes that the design is in keeping with the area as a whole. ”
Meanwhile Cllr Clive Williams (Conservative Plymouth Ward) who is a member of the Vale of Glamorgan Council Planning Committee is inviting local people to object to Dr Gautam’s planning appeal.
Cllr Williams says “I am sad that if this is to be a family home it does not sit well with the neighbours and general public and if someone wants a 6 bedroom house there are many in the catchment area on sale without decimating one of Penarth’s special roads.”
Cllr Williams says ” Naturally I am not in favour of a design so out of keeping with the adjoining properties and general area and – as so many people contacted me over this project with very hostile views and opinions – I invite all those concerned to join with me in writing to the Vale Council Planning Department for onward submission to the Planning Inspectorate.”