Agenda item

79 Braxted Park (Streatham South) 16/05627/FUL

Officer’s recommendations:

 

Grant Conditional Planning Permission.

 

Agree to delegate authority to the Director of Planning, Transport and Development to:

 

1.    Complete the planning obligation for car club membership referred to at section 11.4 below.

 

In the event that the committee resolves to refuse planning permission and there is a subsequent appeal, delegated authority is given to officers, having regard to the heads of terms set out in the report, to negotiate and complete a Section 106 agreement in order to meet the requirements of the Planning Inspector.

 

Minutes:

[Councillor Wilcox vacated the Committee and absented herself from the meeting room for the duration of this item.  Councillor Morris acted as Chair for the duration of this item.]

 

Case no. 16/05627/FUL (agenda item six, page 173 of the agenda, page 11 of the first addendum and page six of the second addendum)

 

The Planning Officer gave a presentation which included a summary of the report and subsequent addenda that had been published on Friday 17 March and on the day of the meeting.  Members were advised of the material planning considerations which included the conversion of the building to four self-contained flats and a single-storey extension, the alterations to original features, the impact on the conservation area and the impact on local transport.  The application had overcome previous reasons for refusal.

 

Following the Planning Officer’s presentation, objectors raised the following points:

·         The second addendum was incorrect and there were 174 signatures on the objectors’ petition.

·          Government guidance had not been followed as drawings had been inconsistent. 

·         The application made a mockery of the Leader’s letter from 2009 confirming the Streatham Lodge Estate Conservation Area.

·         Officers had not followed best practice in areas such as technical appraisals, lighting assessments and parking assessments.

·          There was considerable existing parking stress in the area and the application would worsen this.

·         The rear extension would be highly visible and would impact on neighbours’ privacy.

·         The fence boundary, the bin stores and the alteration to the bay window needed to be considered under Article 4.

·         The proposal would paint over the pebbledash rendering, which had been in place since 1906.

·         The conservation area status had been designated by Cabinet in 2009.  In conservation areas, the heritage had to be preserved or enhanced.

·         The scheme would be highly visible from the street.

·         The orientation of the building would be changed, with the entrance for the majority of the flats being moved from Braxted Park to Strathbrook Road. 

·         Considerable changes were proposed to the building, despite minor changes on other properties in the area being rejected.

·         The conservation area had Article 4 protection, which appeared to have been overlooked.

·         The building line would be altered and was therefore inappropriate.

·         A petition of over 450 names against the application had been presented.

 

The applicant then spoke in support of the scheme, stating that:

·         There would be minimal change to the outside of the building.

·         Materials had been chosen to match original materials, with timber-framed doors and windows to be used.  A condition required examples of materials to be provided.

·         The objectors’ desire to retain the pebbledash could be accommodated.

·         The property was very large and four well-sized flats would be provided.

 

The Ward Councillor, Councillor Danny Adilypour, addressed the Committee, raising the following points:

·         Not enough consideration had been given to the conservation area status and Article 4 protection.

·         Officers appeared to have a relaxed attitude towards whether architecture was original and whether the extension constituted an alteration to the site. The title deeds should be checked whether the rear projection was part of the original build.

·         The Committee should demand a site visit if it could not reject the application.

 

In response to questions from Members, officers stated that:

·         Article 4 restricted permitted development rights within the conservation area.  It did not affect what development would be considered acceptable.

·         The Local Plan recommended that three-bedroom properties be maintained as family residences.  The building was currently a six-bedroom house and therefore not covered by the policy.  Policy H5 (housing standards) did not apply and policy H6 (residential conversions) had been met.

·         Every application was considered on its own merits.

·         The second addendum included details of how the application had been made acceptable to officers.  Skylights in the rear extension had been removed, the side infill extension would be subordinate to the host building, the bay shape would be retained, the side boundary wall would be an appropriate height, a parking survey had been provided and the daylight and sunlight levels would be acceptable.

·         Officers assessed the building as if all of the features were original.  The concern would be the level of harm to heritage features, not necessarily whether they were original.

·         Policy required conservation areas to be preserved or enhanced.  The rear extension was less than one metre and replicated the building’s features and the infill extension would be subordinate.  While there would be some new aspects, they were not considered to be harmful.  Aspects deemed to be of interest would be preserved.

·         The parking stress survey would have followed the Lambeth methodology, measuring parking stress within 200 metres of the site on two separate weekdays in the evening or at night, when demand was likely to be highest. 

·         The parking stress survey was conducted on Tuesday 20 September and Thursday 22 September 2016, at 05.00.  In the immediate area there was high stress, with occupancy above 85%.  Slightly further away there was lower stress, with occupancy at 60%.

·         It was anticipated that there would be up to one car per property.  One off-street parking space would be retained on-site.

·         The car club provider would need to assess whether an additional car club space was required.  If a car club space was provided, demand for parking by private cars would likely decrease.

·         Although the main entrance for the majority of the flats would change, there would be no architectural change.  The view from Braxted Park would be unchanged and the high boundary fence and soft landscaping would minimise the visual impact from Strathbrook Road.

·         The measurement of the floor area had been consistent throughout the application.

 

The Committee considered points raised by speakers and information provided by officers in conjunction with the report before making the following observations:

·         The diagrams had been highly useful in understanding what was proposed.

·         There would be a detrimental effect on a conservation area.

·         There was an element of harm, although it was relatively minor and an unfortunate result of policy requiring one family unit in conversions.

·         The roof lights were out of place in a conservation area and were not a good fit with the rest of the building.

·         The side window was currently PVC-framed, and replacing it with timber framing would be an improvement.  While replacing the bay window with a door was not ideal, it was acceptable as the bay shape would be retained.

·         The rear extension would alter the building line and would be visible from the street.

·         It was not clear that the proposal met policy requirements.  The applicant had evidently made efforts to comply with policy.

·         Providing a three-bedroom family home and other accommodation was welcome.  On balance, it was probable that the level of harm was acceptable, provided that the applicant’s offer to retain the pebbledash treatment was accepted.

·         The building was in a prominent location and had a particular vista.  A substantial change was being proposed to a noticeable building.

·         The area was suburban, and was unlike many other areas of Streatham.

 

It was PROPOSED by Councillor Simpson, SECONDED by Councillor Clark, and

 

NOT CARRIED, by two votes to four

 

To approve permission.

 

It was then MOVED by Councillor Morris, SECONDED by Councillor Gentry, and

 

RESOLVED, by four votes to two

 

To reject officers’ recommendations and REFUSE permission for the following reason:

The roof lights and the projection of the rear extension would harm the balance of the building.  The change in building line would alter the relationship with the rest of the road.  The fenestration of the infill extension was inappropriate and should have been designed to mimic the existing fenestration.  This amounted to a failure to preserve the conservation area.

Supporting documents: