Neighbours living on either side of a 5-bedroomed £640,000 terraced house (at 69 Plymouth Road) have lost their battle against plans to build a rear extension to that property – and objections by Penarth Town Council’s planning committee have been over-ruled.
The two pairs of next-door neighbours had both objected to what they had described as “un-neighbourly” plans for a single storey rear “wrap-around” extension the rear of No 69 which would “fill in ” the gap between the gable annexe at the rear of the property and the side boundary.
The contentious application had already come before Penarth Town Council who had recommended refusal . However Vale of Glamorgan planning officers decided to recommend approval of the scheme. It was then “called-in” for consideration by the full Vale of Glamorgan planning committee by Cllr Maureen Kelly Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward) .
The neighbours attended the planning committee meeting in person to voice their concerns.
Mrs Elspeth Clark said she and her husband objected to the application on the grounds of loss of privacy and amenity specifically relating to raising the height of the current patio of No 69 by 1ft 4inches – so that “any adult standing on it” would be able to look down into her garden with “a significant impact” on their privacy.
Mrs Clark said “It is very dismaying that this application was made to the council without any consultation with us”. The plans – she said– “had been submitted with neither thought nor care of the impact on the neighbours”. On “conservation grounds” Mrs Clark said the scheme was a “gross overwhelming development which would result in a significant change character “ .The extension would cover the whole width of the garden and would be “completely out of sympathy with the original Victorian architecture”.
Dr Andrew Grant – speaking for the other neighbours (Mr and Mrs Arthur of 71 Plymouth Road) – said the proposed extension was “overdeveloped, overbearing and overshadowing with significant impact on light and amenity”. The side wall of No. 69 would now be up against the party-wall of 71 and the hight of the wall increased to 3.2 metres with above it a black slate roof rising to 4 metres. Dr Grant said the light levels in the kitchen and dining room of no 69 – which were “already marginal” would lose reflected light and would need “all-year-round electric lighting”.
Dr Grant said the “outside return” of No. 71 [a rear feature of most terraced Victorian houses] provided “space and light” . If the scheme was approved it would set an “unsympathetic precedent” for the Penarth Conservation Area .
Next to speak was Peter Mulaney – the owner of No 69 Plymouth Road – whose application this was. He proposed a concession – a modification to the submitted plans which would retain the “status quo” and maintain his patio at its existing height. He denied that the roof of his proposed extension would affect the light for No 67 Plymouth Road, which would be 6 feet away from the party fence wall.
Mr Mulaney admitted the plans would increase the “footprint of the property” but pointed out that because the extension would be at the rear – this would not be visible from Plymouth Road or from Sully Terrace Lane because of existing fencing and outbuildings. He acknowledged that a small section of the party-wall with No 67 would be exposed to the elements but he would ensure the wall was “weatherproofed” .
Mr Mulaney said that since moving to Penarth he and his wife had tried to foster good relations with the neighbours and “had complied with all the issues they have raised on both sides promptly and in good faith. We have not questioned any terms they have required of us – financial or otherwise even when they have been inconvenient to us, or have presented financial challenges at unexpected times”.
As No 71 Plymouth Road was situated South of No 69 there would – he said – be “no change in the direct sunlight available to the rear of the property”.
Planning Officer Victoria Robinson pointed out that the application site (i.e. No. 69 Plymouth Road) is to the North of No. 71 and therefore would would not take any direct sunlight from that property. The officers considered that there were “no significant harmful effects to either neighbour to either side”.
The planning application for No.69 Plymouth Road was voted through by the committee .