To receive and consider the attached report of the Chief Planning Officer regarding an application for retrospective consent for one new dwelling.
The report of the Chief Planning Officer presented an application for retrospective consent for one dwelling at 378 Burley Road, Leeds, LS24 2SN.
Members visited the site prior to the meeting and site plans and photographs were displayed and referred to throughout the discussion of the application.
The attending Planning Officer made it known to Panel that he had been approached by a local resident in advance of the matter coming before Panel. However, this entailed a brief exchange with regard to speaking rights; was subsequent to the Chief Planning Officer’s report being finalised; and had no bearing on the recommendation contained therein.
Further issues highlighted in relation to the application included the following:
· The application had been referred to Panel at the request of local Ward Councillors as the original property had felt to be of local significance and because the proposals would have an impact on neighbouring properties.
· There had been a previous application approved for a single storey side and rear extension. Due to significant changes to the approved plans, it was now described as a new dwelling and this subsequent application had been required.
· Changes from the previous application included the removal of chimneys, heightened roof to the rear in gable form and lowering of windows, the hipped roof element and porch would be retained.
· The application was recommended for approval.
Local Ward Councillors addressed the Panel with concerns and objections to the application. These included the following:
· The historic house had previously been surrounded by trees and flowers prior to their removal for a driveway and building of 378a Burley Road.
· All Kirkstall Ward Councillors had objected to the development of 378a and had wanted this application to be referred to Plans Panel but this was unlawfully approved. There was also a demolition consent approved in 2014 without opportunity for Ward Councillors to object.
· There was evidence of maladministration in respect of previous applications having been determined under delegated powers and this application should be deferred to allow for a thorough investigation.
· The loss of the original attractive building was regrettable.
· There had been public disappointment about the changes to the original building.
· The applicant had carried on with building without permission and after being instructed to stop. It was requested that this application should therefore be deferred, as to approve would otherwise condone criminal activity taken in breach of involvement by Enforcement Officers.
· The building proposed was not in keeping with the character of the area.
· Councillors were unaware of the permission granted for demolition.
· It was requested that Ward Councillors be consulted regarding any further demolition applications as a matter of course.
· In response to questions it was felt that the report was incomplete and all the facts should have been included. Deferral, rather than refusal, would enable all necessary information to come before Panel and an informed decision be made.
· There was further concern regarding previous approvals through the use of standing orders. Furthermore it was requested that local planning design guidance be introduced providing for Ward Councillors to be informed in relation to demolition applications.
A local resident addressed the Panel with concerns and objections to the application. These included the following:
· Demolition had been approved in 2014, but on the proviso that this was to be completed within a particular time-frame. This had not been complied with by the applicant.
· The applicant had gone against the approved plans.
· The original historic building should be reconstructed.
In response to Panel Members comments and questions, the following was discussed:
· The permission for demolition was extant until 6 December 2019. The current plans and application were therefore the matter before Panel for determination, rather than whether demolition should have been undertaken.
· There was no evidence of maladministration in relation to the application. All applications had been approved in accordance with relevant legislation and under the appropriate delegated powers.
· English Heritage had not considered the original building to be worthy of listing. It also fell outside the conservation area.
· Examples of case law had shown that the Council would not have the powers to insist the building be reconstructed in its previous form.
· There were no concerns with officers that the proposal would adversely impact on neighbours’ residential amenity.
· Preliminary works that were required by condition would be checked before further development at the site.
· Enforcement Officers would undertake to ensure the terms of any permission granted are complied with by undertaking site visit(s) as necessary.
· Concern that granting permission retrospectively rewarded poor behaviour of the applicant, such that the application be refused.
· Members were reminded of the extant permission for demolition, such that the demolition can proceed and be completed lawfully. The new application had been made as changes to previous applications had been significant, but now seeks to obtain permission for what is proposed to be developed on site in the absence of the previous structure
· A review of the approach to notifying Ward Councillors of demolition applications could be considered by Development Plans Panel and Joint Panel Chairs in due course.
RESOLVED – That permission be granted as per the officer recommendation and conditions outlined in the report.
Amendments to Condition 4 to ensure that surfacing was carried out at the appropriate time and Condition 6 amended to replace the word “should” with “shall” to ensure implementation.