Agenda item

Planning Application Number 18/03500/F - Ground Floor Flat, 7 Belvedere Road, Westbury Park

Minutes:

The representative of the Service Manager – Development Management made the following comments:

 

          A brief explanation of the site was provided. It was noted that it would involve the enlargement of the basement and proposed construction work using either diamond drill or hand held drill

          Objectors had expressed concerns about noise and disturbance during construction, the potential for damage to neighbouring properties and impact on highways. There had also been objections to the previous construction by the developer

          Since this was a designated conservation area, the impact on the neighbouring amenity needed to be considered

          The extension was proposed for residential use. Since this was at ground level, there would be no impact on neighbouring properties

          Noise during construction – whilst officers sympathised with residents concerning this issue, they had little control over contractors in this area. Conditions had been proposed to minimise impact. It was a requirement that the construction was carried out in accordance with the structural engineer’s report. However, any damage to neighbouring properties during construction was a civil matter

 

The representative of the Service Manager – Development Management made the following comments in response to Councillors’ comments:

 

          The application could not be refused on the basis of noise made during the construction process nor could it be made on the basis of hearsay of what the applicant may want to do in future at the property. Any change of use to a care home would require a new planning application that would be consulted on and considered on its merits. A previous application for a care home at the site had been withdrawn after various concerns had been raised by officers. 

          Legislation was in existence concerning construction noise in relation to environmental health and pollution control. Residents were free to report issues relating to excessive noise which would then be investigated. Similarly, there could be no requirement to restrict noise levels during construction to a certain decibel level. In addition, the equipment in the previous construction involving the developer was JCB excavators which would not be the case with the current proposal

          Unfortunately, it was no longer possible for proactive monitoring of enforcement to take place. However, officers would respond to any complaints that they received. If the applicant breached the hours and/or method of construction, they could be subject to a breach of condition notice which in the event of a failure to comply would result in the matter being referred directly to the magistrate’s court. The magistrates’ court would consider evidence that the offence had occurred and failure to comply with the breach of condition notice in making its decision

          Alleged ownership of the property was not a relevant planning consideration

          The Committee could not take into account any possible future applications that might be submitted by this applicant. Each application needed to be considered on its own merit

          There was no indication as to whether or not the road would be closed during construction. The Highways Section would examine the acceptability of it

 

Councillors made the following comments:

 

          It was disappointing to see that there was no requirement for pre-application consultation for this scale of development under Planning Regulations. The developers should be encouraged to consult with neighbours. However, there was no good reason to refuse this application. If any unreasonable disturbance did take place, residents should be encouraged to pursue any complaints through recognised channels

          There seemed to be no legal reason that this application could be refused

          This application put the Committee in a difficult position. There had been problems with a road closure in the Eastville ward. In view of the situation, the application should reluctantly be supported

 

Councillor Olly Mead moved, seconded by Councillor Richard Eddy and, upon being put to the vote, it was

 

Resolved (10 for – unanimously by those present) that the application contained in the report be approved subject to the conditions set out in the report.

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