The representative of the Head of Development Management introduced the report and made the following points:-
· Details of the proposed development were outlined
· The development would result in increased massing but this would not result in an overbearing effect or harm. There was already some overshadowing due to the topography
· In relation to the loss of existing B2 use, the applicant had provided sufficient evidence that the site had been sufficiently marketed
· The proposal was in a contemporary industrial design and was of appropriate use
· The impact on the conservation area was less than substantial
· The new dwelling does not exceed the existing height
· It was officers’ view that there would not be a significant loss of privacy
· Any harm would be outweighed by the benefit of the development
In response to Councillors’ questions, officers made the following points:
· The property had been marketed in 2016 and 2017 for sale and lease. Whilst it was acknowledged that it was at these times in a poor state of repair, the application should not be pre-judged on this basis
· Whilst there would be some shadowing from this proposed development, it would not be so harmful as to warrant refusal of the application given that the existing building at the site already overshadows neighbouring rear gardens and also the adjacent building is taller than the proposed development
· Councillors’ frustration concerning the lack of protection provided by Local Listing Status was noted..
Councillors made the following comments:
· There were a number of concerns about whether this site is properly protected by its Local List status. Whilst a contemporary development should not be opposed in principle and could be appropriate in some parts of the city, this scheme was not appropriate for this site
· There was no reason why the site could not in future be converted to residential use. It did real harm to a Conservation Area and should be opposed on the grounds of heritage and design
· There were serious concerns about how the site had been marketed
· Whilst the limitations of the building’s status were acknowledged, it was noted that Heritage Officers had advised that it was acceptable
· The over shadowing was significant. When additional overshadowing resulted in losing all remaining light from what was already a significant loss from existing buildings, this had a more serious impact. The amenity of the neighbours was a key issue
· A good compromise to the proposal would be for the developer to adapt the roof to reduce over shadowing
· Residential amenity was significantly affected by the lack of sunlight and over shadowing and the design did not enhance or preserve the character of the Conservation Area
Officers noted the serious concerns raised by Councillors about the impact on amenity of the over shadowing but indicated that it was such a significant change it would not be appropriate to add a condition to any potential approval. In their view, the application should either be determined on its merits or the Committee could defer a decision for specific changes to the design ie the roof form. If the Committee wanted to defer, it would be useful if they also gave officers delegated authority to refuse permission if the applicant did not wish to change the design as requested. If the roof design was amended, local residents would be re-consulted and the application would be brought back to Committee.
Councillor Richard Eddy moved, seconded by Councillor Carla Denyer and, upon being put to the vote, it was
Resolved – (8 for, 1 against, all present voting) that the item be deferred for officers to establish with the applicant if the roof can be re-designed to address amenity concerns about increased shading of the rear gardens and that, in the event that the applicant is unwilling to do this, officers be given delegated authority to refuse the application on these grounds.