To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for a new access gate and conversion of an integral garage to a habitable room.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for the conversion of an integral garage to a habitable room at 14 Stubley Farm Mews, Morley, LS27 9ND.
There was a site visit prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· The property was 3 storeys with dormers, an internal garage and occupied a corner plot.
· The applicant had created access to the rear of the property for car parking under permitted development rights.
· An application had previously been refused as the loss of the garage would reduce parking provision. A visit to the site had determined the garage to be sub-standard under new guidance and not fit for the purpose of parking a family vehicle.
· Parking provision had been addressed with the provision of the space to the rear of the property and there had not been any concern expressed by Highways.
· Objections had been received from neighbours regarding pedestrian safety due to the parking at the rear of the property.
· The application was recommended for approval with a condition that the space to the rear of the property is retained for parking.
A neighbouring resident addressed the Panel with concerns and objections to the application. These included the following:
· Noise and fumes to neighbouring property – when reversing into the drive, the car’s exhaust came within 4 feet of the kitchen window.
· When the neighbouring property was bought it was not anticipated that the benefit of the garden to a young family would be lost.
· Children’s bedroom windows could not be left open due to fumes and there was also disturbance due to the applicant working shifts.
· There were narrow paths round the street and the concealed driveway out children at risk while they were out playing.
· The removal of the wall to create the driveway was a breach of planning legislation.
· The garage was large enough to park a vehicle and there were also 6 off road spaces on the site that could be used.
The applicant addressed the Panel. Issues highlighted included the following:
· An application had been submitted in March 2016 but was withdrawn as Highways had stated that access to make the parking at the rear was not wide enough. Following further advice, work was undertaken to widen the access to create a space at the rear. This was done at a cost of in excess of £7.5k and was done as a permitted development. A further application was submitted in October 2016 and refused. Further information came to light in December 2016 which showed that the garage was sub-standard under street design guidance and that therefore there was no loss of a parking space. The applicant was then invited to submit a further application.
· The proposal was to convert the garage to create more living space. There would not be any external alterations.
· It had not been mentioned prior to the application that there would be a condition to retain the rear parking space.
· It considered that the condition to retain the parking space failed key tests under government guidelines and it was requested that this condition be removed.
· If it had been noted at the first application that the garage was sub-standard then there would have been no need to create the extra space at the rear. There had been a series of errors and the application should have just been a non-material change to an integral garage.
In response to Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· With regard to the legality of the condition to retain the additional parking space, members were informed that consideration needed to be given to how many parking spaces were required. At the original planning permission for the property there was a requirement for 2 spaces and this condition ensured that was retained.
· Comments were made that garage conversions on these kind of properties were common and that although the property was sited in an awkward position, the applicant had found a way to create additional parking. It was also felt that the condition to retain the rear parking space was reasonable.
RESOLVED - That the application be granted as per the officer recommendation and the conditions outlined in the report.