Application Ref. / 15/04059/FUL
Applicant / Mr M Hartle
Reason for Referral to Committee / Support from Cllr Atkinson
Case Officer / Erin Weatherstone
Presenting Officer / Erin Weatherstone
Ward Member(s) / Cllr Atkinson
Parish Council / Tanworth–in-Arden
Site Address / Harwood House, Penn Lane, Tanworth-in-Arden
Description of Development / Demolition of the existing dwelling and removal of 2no. storage containers and the erection of a replacement dwelling with detached garage
Description of Site Constraints /
  • Green Belt
  • PROW to north west of site
  • Mature trees

Summary of Recommendation /

Description of site and surroundings

The application site lies to the west of Wood end due south of the M42 and east of the A345. The application site lies within the West Midlands Green Belt and is accessed from Penn Lane which forms a ribbon of development. To the west of the site lies paddock land and stables which are within the applicants ownership and there is a vehicular access point from the site to this land. A public foot paths runs from north to south west beyond the western boundary of the site.

The application site is accessed via a long drive from Penn Lane. The existing dwelling has a U-shaped form and is single storey with garden area behind. The site has a large area of hardstanding with tennis courts to the south. A number of containers are located within the site and a carport garage area close to the entrance. Outside the application site to the east of the dwelling lies a wooded area and to the south an open grassed area with a pond.

Planning permission is sought for the erection of a replacement dwelling and detached garage. Access from Penn Lane would be retained including the gates and front boundary treatment.

Revised plans have been received which have set the dwelling into the land by 1.5m and introduce additional planting.

Development Plan

Paragraph 215 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) advises that “due weight should be given to relevant policies in existing plans according to their degree of consistency with this framework”.

Relevant Policies in the Development Plan for this application are

  • COM.12 part d, PR.1, DEV.1,DEV.4 – consistent with Framework
  • EF.6, EF.10, EF.11, CTY.1, DEV.3, DEV.6, DEV.7, PR.2, PR.8– some consistency but Framework is less restrictive
  • DEV.5 – inconsistent with Framework/out-of-date

Other Material Considerations

Central government guidance

  • NPPF 2012 & PPG 2014
  • Circular 06/05: Biodiversity and Geological Conservation

Supplementary Planning Documents & Guidance

  • Stratford on Avon District Design Guide

Other Documents

  • Core Strategy: Proposed Submission with Modifications June 2015

Following a full Council meeting on 22.06.2015, Members resolved to adopt some of the policies in the emerging ‘Core Strategy (As submitted September 2014 showing subsequent proposed modifications) June 2015’ for development management purposes. Those policies have some weight in decision taking.

Proposed modifications in response to the Inspector’s Interim Conclusions were consulted on in August 2015 and submitted, with representations, to the Inspector on 23 October 2015.

The policies relevant to this application and which have some weight are:

•CS.1 Sustainable Development;

•CS.5 Landscape, CS.6 Natural Environment, CS.9 Design and Distinctiveness and CS.10 Green Belt (District Resources policies);

Other key policies which continue to have limited weight are:-

•AS.10 – Countryside and villages and CS.19 Existing Housing Stock and Buildings

Paragraph 216 of the NPPF allows for weight to be given to relevant policies in emerging plans, unless other material considerations indicate otherwise, and only subject to the stage of preparation of the plan, the extent of unresolved objections and the degree of consistency of the relevant emerging policies to the NPPF policies.

  • Other Evidence base documents etc

Tamworth in Arden Neighbourhood plan

Other Legislation

  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006
  • The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010
  • Localism Act

Summary of Relevant History

Reference Number / Proposal / Decision and date
14/01650/FUL / Use of existing ancillary accommodation as a separate residential dwelling (no external alterations). / Approved 4.8.2014
10/00504/FUL / Physical alterations to the interior and external fenestration of stable building permitted under planning reference number 04/02642/FUL and use of the building for purposes ancillary to the residential occupation of Forge End (not to be used as a separate dwelling house). / Approved 27.05.2010
08/03242/FUL / Physical alterations to the interior and external fenestration of stable block permitted under planning reference number 04/02642/FUL and use of the building as ancillary residential accommodation for entertaining and guest bedrooms / Refused 11.02.2009

The above history relates to Forge End which Hardwood House was originally associated with as an ancillary stable building and later became ancillary guest accommodation to Forge End. The ancillary accommodation became a permanent separate dwelling to Hardwood House in 2014 (application reference 14/01650/FUL) and permitted development rights were removed.

Applicant’s Supporting Documents

List of documents:

Design and Access Statement

Bat Survey

Potential extensions which may be applied for under a householder application

Ward Member(s)

Cllr Atkinson – Support

The generality of my previous comments remain although the amendment is for a reduced height which in my opinion gives increased support to the belief no adverse impact is created upon the Green Belt or setting, in fact overall an improvement is created. Request a site visit if the application needs to be considered at committee (17.2.2016).

The removal of the existing storage facilities will contribute to the Green Belt and as the replacement dwelling as well as a garage, do not in my opinion have an adverse impact upon it or neighbours the application conforms to the relevant policies and has my support (4.1.2016).

Parish Council-

Tamworth in Arden Parish Council – No representation.

Request that the western boundary of the site is landscaped (11.1.2016)

Third Party Responses

1 letter of support received. Planning matters raised include:

  • development is sympathetic to surroundings and improved design; and
  • only slightly larger supported by principles of development in the Green Belt.

Other non-planning related matters were also raised.


The full responses are available within the application file.

Severn Trent– No objection recommends note (19.1.2016)

WCC Highways– No Objection subject to conditions (22.1.2016).

WCC Ecology– Low risk of protected species being impacted by demolition applicant/agent may wish to incorporate other opportunities for wildlife (18.1.2016).

WCC Archaeology- No representation (6.1.2016)

WCC Public Rights of Way Officer – No objections to amended plans (2.2.2016).


Principle of Development

The Council is required to make a decision in line with the Development Plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. (Section 38(6) PCPA 2004 and Section 70(2) TCPA 1990). The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a key material planning consideration. The emerging Core Strategy is also a material consideration.

COM.12 part d of the Saved Local Plan supports the replacement of a permanent lawful dwelling outside the main built up area boundaries of Stratford upon Avon and the main Rural Centres. This support only extends, however, to replacement dwellings where the scale, design and location would not have an adverse impact on the character of the area.

In addition policy COM.12 part d states that the dwelling should be within the same curtilage unless significant environmental benefits of extending the curtilage would occur.

There is nothing to suggest that the replacement of an existing lawful dwelling would be contrary to the policies and aims of the NPPF. In addition emerging Core Strategy Policy CS.19 (Existing Housing Stock and Buildings) states that where the existing dwelling is not suitable of retention the replacement will be sited well in relation to existing buildings and not be significantly larger than the dwelling it replaces. The replacement dwelling is proposed in a similar location to the existing dwelling. There is nothing to suggest that the dwelling is not suitable of retention however limited weight can be afforded to CS.19 due its emerging status.

Hardwood House is a permanent lawful dwelling therefore subject to the proposed replacement dwelling not having an adverse impact on the character of the area the principle of the replacementdwelling is supported by COM.12 part d and in broad with Emerging Core Strategy Policy CS.19.

Green Belt

This site lies within the Green Belt, where very strict control is exercised over all forms of development, in accordance with national guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and in accordance with Saved Local Plan Review policy PR2. Emerging Core Strategy Policy CS.10 states that the purposes of the Green Belt will be upheld.

Green belt policy seeks to preserve the open character of the Green Belt. The main functions of the Green Belt function include preventing urban sprawl and safeguarding countryside from encroachment amongst other things as set out in paragraph 80 of the NPPF.

As such, all forms of development are defined as “inappropriate” development within the Green Belt unless they are specifically referred to as an exception within paragraph 89 and 90 of the NPPF.

A replacement dwelling is considered to be ‘inappropriate development’ where the replacement dwelling is ‘materially larger’ than the dwelling it replaces. In assessing the development the footprint, floor area, heights and volume of the existing and proposed dwelling has been compared. The bulk, mass, design and prominence of each dwelling has also been considered. It must be noted that the openness is taken to mean the absence of development and therefore visibility is assessed only within the wider assessment when reviewing the prominence of the development.

The proposed dwelling would result in a dwelling with a smaller footprint that the existing,however, would result in an increase in floor area due to the introduction of a first floorwhich equates to an approximate increase in floor area by 78%. In terms of volume the proposed dwelling would result in an increase of approximately 32 % volume over and above the existing dwelling.

By reason of the design over two floors the ridge height will increase by 3m from the existing to the proposed replacement dwelling. I note that the revised scheme has set the proposed replacement dwelling into the landscape by 1.5m.

It is noted that the application site does not lie within a village location surrounded by built form and due to the origins of Hardwood House the dwelling is positioned behind the ribbon of development along Penn Lane. The application site is therefore surrounded by paddocks and open land with a band of trees located in a cluster to the east of the dwelling.

When assessing the prominence of the development the revised drawings are considered to reduce the prominence of the dwelling within the landscape. Furthermore I consider the design with a staggered roof profile includinghipped roofs and dormers helps to minimises the height of the dwelling when assessing the visual impact of the proposal.

Notwithstanding the above, when comparing the proposed replacement dwelling against the existing I consider that the proposal would have a greater bulk and prominence than the existing dwelling mainly due to the increase in height, floor area and volume.

In addition to the proposed dwelling a detached garage is also proposed which represents ‘inappropriate development’ with the Green Belt. By reason of its size and position some distance from the dwelling I consider that this would introduce harm to the open character of the Green Belt. The single storey nature and hipped roof design I consider reduces the prominence of the garage within the Green Belt reducing the level of harm introduced to the openness.

Having regard to the above, notwithstanding the design of the replacement dwelling, I considered the replacement dwelling to be “materially larger” than the dwelling which it seeks to replace. In addition, I consider that the replacement dwelling by reason of its size, design and position would introduce harm to the openness of the Green Belt. In addition, I consider the garage to represent ‘inappropriate development’ which causes harm to the open character of the Green Belt for the reasons discussed above.

Any Very Special Circumstances

Where a proposal is considered to have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt it would represent “inappropriate” development in the Green Belt and will only be supported where there are ‘very special circumstances’ which outweigh the harm to the Green Belt.

The agent has confirmed that the proposal would result in the removal of the existing containers permanently located on the site. It is important to note that Hardwood House has no permitted development rights and there is no planning history available on the Council’s records whichpermitted containers to be permanently stored on the site. I therefore afford the removal of these units very little weight in this assessment.

The proposal would result in the removal of the existing tennis court set within the application site. Due to the open nature of the tennis court design with mesh fencing I consider very limited weight can be afforded to its removal.

It is further noted that a carport and storage building have been erected close to the entrance of the application on site; however, this will be dealt with separately from this application. The agent has confirmed the two containers annotated on the plans are contained within these structures.

The agent has submitted a potential scheme which the applicant may apply for under a householder planning application to extend the existing dwelling. Without a determination of a householder application for the potential extension I am only able to give these plans and the comparison very limited weight. Should an extant planning permission be put forward as justification for the proposal this would receive more weight within this assessment. Notwithstanding this, I am mindful that the extensions put forward are single storey and not two storey as proposed for thereplacement dwelling. As such, the harm to the Green Belt in terms of height and prominence would likely be far lesser.

A permitted development fallback position can be afforded significant weight within Green Belt assessments if the agent can demonstrate a workable fallback position which can achieve the same level of accommodation as proposed by the development. In this case the dwelling has no permitted development rights therefore the agent is unable demonstrate a permitted development fallback position. It is further noted that any works allowed under permitted development would be restricted and would have to have a height lesser or equal to the existing eaves and ridge height.

The revised plans have set the proposed replacement dwelling into the site by approximately 1.5m. This design has been assessed above and it is accepted that the proposal would result in a reduced visual height of the dwelling within the landscape.. The lower levels of the dwelling are not subterranean and the openings are still visible. As such, it is appropriate to consider the additional floorspace and bulk of the proposal. The revised sunken design is not considered to be unique to represent ‘very special circumstances’.

Having regard to the above, I do not consider that the circumstances put forward would outweigh the harm of the development on the openness of the Green Belt.

In the absence of any ‘very special circumstances’to outweigh the harm of the ‘materially larger’ replacement dwelling on the openess of the Green Belt, the development is contrary to paragraphs 87, 88 and 89 of the NPPF.

Character of the area

The application site lies within open countryside. Policies CTY.1, DEV.1 and PR.1 seek to ensure that development respects the character of the area and with CTY.1 expanding to include the resources of the countryside. The NPPF also seeks to ensure developments are of a high quality design (paragraph 56) and recognise the intrinsic beauty of the countryside (paragraph 17).

Development follows a ribbon form along Penn Lane with dwellings set back from the road in a variety of designs, sizes and ages. The materials within the area include render, brick and tile with clusters of dwellings with similar design features set together along the road. Dwellings include both single storey and two storey properties.

Hardwood House was originally ancillary stables to Forge End and therefore its position is set behind Penn Lane and its design is single storey and simple due to is origins as a stable building. Hardwood House therefore does not form part of the linear form of Penn Lane and does not have the same direct relationship with the streetscene that neighbouring properties have. Notwithstanding this, the application site is still visible fromthe public right of way and from Penn Lane when travelling eastwards.

The proposal is a replacement dwelling within the garden land of the existing property. I consider that the design and materials of the proposed dwelling and detached garage to be sympathetic to the mixed character of the area. I consider it reasonable to apply conditions to ensure a satisfactory appearance.