Land and Property Planning Limited in collaboration with Alan Leather Associates Limited were instructed by the client PVM Property Limited to submit a full planning application to Cornwall Council for the demolition of the existing bungalow and construction of 5 apartments and parking.
The applicant addressed all of the issues raised by the Local Planning Authority, The Parish Council and local residents.
The application was supported by the Senior Planning Officer however the parish council maintained their objection and as a consequence the application was taken before the central planning committee members who refused the scheme based on impact on a neighbouring property.
The applicant submitted an Appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds that the LPA refused to grant planning permission for the proposed development.
The Inspector considered the main issue being the effect of the development on the living conditions of occupants of 49 Sea Road with particular regard to outlook.
The Inspector found that the proposed building would not result in a loss of outlook that would be harmful to the living conditions of the occupants of No 49. In this regard, the proposal would therefore comply with Policy 12 of the Cornwall Local Plan (2016), which, amongst other things, seeks to ensure that development proposals protect individuals and property from overbearing impacts. The proposal would also accord with the government’s aims of achieving well-designed places that provide a high standard of amenity for existing and future users as expressed in Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework).
Concerns have been raised about the impact of the development on the character and appearance of the area. The area is characterised by large detached buildings on spacious plots. There is no uniformity to the architectural style, and there are a number of buildings of a contemporary design in the area. The proposed building would be in keeping with the pattern of development and would complement the existing mixture of designs in the locality. The Inspector found that it would not be harmful to the character and appearance of the area. The Inspector appreciated that some early work is underway on a Neighbourhood Plan, and that the issue of replacing individual dwellings with apartment blocks is a matter that may be addressed. However, no draft plan has been submitted for consultation, so it has not yet reached a stage that would carry any weight in the decision-making process.
It has been claimed that there is no need for more flats in the area and that the development would not provide the sort of housing that is required. The Council has emphasised that it has a 5-year housing land supply, so there is no shortage of housing land to outweigh any harm arising from the development. The Inspector found that the proposal accords with the development plan, therefore the presence or absence of a 5-year housing land supply was not a factor in my decision. The provision of flats would add to the mix of housing available in the area and would provide a net increase of 4 dwellings, which would support the government’s objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes.
Concerns have also been raised regarding traffic generation and lack of parking, but it was clear from the site visit that the road can accommodate the relatively small increase in traffic movements. The 12 car-parking spaces proposed would be sufficient to ensure that there would be no increase in onstreet parking. Other issues have been raised in representations relating to potential impact on wildlife, trees and flooding. The Inspector considered these matters, but found no evidence to indicate that there would be any harm arising from the development in any of these regards.
For the reasons set out above the appeal is Allowed.
The full appeal statement can be read in full on the council website under PA18/04536.