Reference number: R14/2251 and R14/2252
Site address: White Lodge, Vicarage Lane, Dunchurch
Description: Minor amendments to planning consent R13/1174 to include works as follows: minor adjustments to internal partitions and walls, slightly raised roof lights, external flue to log burner and removal of old air handling equipment and replace with new heat exchanger and Listed building consent for minor amendments to planning consent R13/1563 to include works as follows: minor adjustments to internal partitions and walls, slightly raised roof lights, external flue to log burner and removal of old air handling equipment and replace with new heat exchanger
Case Officer Name & Number: John Wilbraham – 01788 533549
The site lies within the village of Dunchurch which is classified as a Main Rural Settlement. The building is Grade II listed and is situated within the Conservation Area of Dunchurch. The dwelling is set back in its plot and is accessed via a shared drive off a narrow road. There are limited views over the brick wall which forms the side boundary of the dwelling due to the mature vegetation along it.
This application is seeking retrospective permission to amend a previously approved scheme which granted permission for the replacement of the existing swimming pool building with a modern timber clad building. The amendments being sought under this application are the inclusion of upstanding rooflights, a large external flue for a log burner, an additional section of wooden screening above the roof along the side elevation and the replacement of old air handling equipment with a new heat exchanger.
Relevant Planning HistoryApplication Reference / Description / Decision
R13/1563 / Demolition of existing swimming pool building & the erection of a replacement single storey extension to the rear / Granted 23-Sep-2013
R13/1174 / Demolition of existing swimming pool building & the erection of a replacement single storey extension to the rear / Granted 23-Sep-2013
Technical Consultation Responses
RBC Environmental Health – no objection subject to the imposition of suggested informative (9/1/15)
WCC Ecology – We would recommend our previous comments on R13/1563 remain the same in light of the similar nature of the works
Previous comments - application should be refused until a pre-determinative bat survey has been carried out. A great crested newt assessment should also be carried out at the same time (10/9/13)
Third Party Responses
Cllr – no comments received
Parish – no objection (24/12/14)
Neighbours – two letters of objection received raising concerns on the following planning grounds:
- impact of the proposals on the setting and character of the Conservation Area and listed building and the visual amenity of the area
Relevant Planning Policies and Guidance
Saved Local Plan Policies
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
Sustainable Design and Construction SPD
Assessment of Proposals
In the assessment of this application the determining factors are the impact of the proposed development on the character of the listed building, the impact on the setting of the Conservation Area and the qualities, character and amenity of the area, amenity of neighbouring properties and impact on protected species.
Impact on the character of the listed building, impact on the setting of the Conservation Area and impact on the qualities, character and amenity of the area
Policy CS16 states that new development must not have a significant impact on existing heritage assets and their setting. Paragraph 137 of the NPPF states that development should enhance or better reveal the significance of heritage assets. Policy CS16 also goes on to state that development will only be allowed where proposals are of a scale, density and design that would not cause any material harm to the qualities, character and amenity of the areas in which they are situated. Similarly, the Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document states that the siting, size and design of an extension must not dominate the existing building and should be sympathetic with and appear subservient to the original dwelling. Paragraphs 56 and 57 of the NPPF require all development proposals to be of a high quality design.
The replacement building is now complete and permission is sought for the changes and additions to the previous permission. The roof lights which have been installed were shown on the previously approved plans but only the floor plan rather than as upstanding frames on the elevation. They project up approximately 0.2m from the plane of the flat roof and are fairly unobtrusive within the context of the development. The replacement of the previous air handling equipment with a new heat recovery system has meant that only two small flues, which are finished in black, remain in the gulley valley. These are partially screened by timber screening that has been erected across the end of the gulley and matches the timber cladding on the new extension. Again these are seen against the existing building and the garage block behind it. The black topped finish aids in reducing their visual impact on the Conservation Area whilst this and their distance from the main body of the listed building help reduce their visual impact to that.
The greatest change is the addition of a large stainless steel flue that has been installed to serve a log burner in the replacement building. This stands approximately 2.1m in height from the flat roof of the building with a diameter of 0.3m. It is seen principally from neighbouring properties although there are some limited, long range views of it from Vicarage Lane. In its present form the stainless steel finish does appear fairly incongruous in this location. It is considered that painting the flue in a matt black would help dull it down and make it less obtrusive visually. The gable end of the dwelling the flue is seen against from the neighbouring properties, consists of a white painted finish with black shutters pinned back either side of the windows. By putting a black finish on the flue it is considered it would blend in better with these shutters which are features of the listed building. Similarly by finishing it in black, the limited views from Vicarage Lane would see it against the backdrop of the properties in Critchley Drive which have dark roof tiles. Subject to the imposition of a condition requiring the flue to be painted matt black, and maintained as such in perpetuity, it is felt on balance that it would preserve the character and setting of the Conservation Area and the listed building.
Overall and on balance the proposals are considered to be acceptable having regard to Policy CS16 and Paragraphs 137, 56 and 57 of the NPPF.
Impact upon the amenity of neighbouring properties
Policy CS16 also states that development should ensure that the amenities of existing and future neighbouring occupiers are safeguarded.
The nearest neighbouring properties to the site are those located in Critchley Drive specifically no. 7 and 8. A separation distance of approximately 17m exists between the nearest point of the replacement building and the rear elevations of those properties. The rooflights and flues that have been installed are a sufficient distance away from the neighbours so that they do not cause a loss of light or overbearing impact. Mention is made in the neighbour’s letters to the cumulative impact the flues, especially the large stainless steel flue, have had on the visual amenity of the property. Whilst it is accepted that the alterations do change the outlook from the neighbouring properties there is no right to a view in planning and unfortunately is therefore not a material consideration. It is intended to condition that the large flue is painted in a matt black, which will help to mitigate for its visual impact and should help improve the visual amenities enjoyed by the neighbours.
Due to the flues being sited close to the shared boundary the Authority’s Environmental Health team were consulted. They advised that they had no objections in principle to the scheme subject to an informative note being attached to the decision. They did also confirm that should the neighbours feel the enjoyment of their properties were being continuously affected by the discharges from the flues Environmental Health could investigate further.
Based on this advice and due to the nature of the alterations and their distance from the neighbouring properties it is considered there will be no adverse impact in terms of loss of light or overbearing caused having regard to Policy CS16.
Impact on protected species
Saved Local Plan Policy E6 states that the Borough Council will seek to safeguard, maintain and enhance features of ecological and geological importance. Paragraph 118 of the NPPF requires local authorities to have regard to the conservation and preservation of protected species and their habitats.
The County Ecologist previously requested that a bat survey was carried out given the demolition works taking place. The main issue at the time was the timber cladding on the elevations which they felt could provide some potential for crevice dwelling bats. On the previous application it was considered this to be an unreasonable request given the condition the timber cladding was in and as such a survey was not requested to be carried out. Instead informative notes were attached to the decision advising the applicant that the timber cladding should be removed by hand and that work should cease if a bat is found. Additionally an informative was attached in relation to Great Crested Newts as advised by Ecology.
Given that the works have now been carried out there is not considered any need to attach these informatives again. Under the previous decision protected species were deemed to be adequately protected with the imposition of suitable informatives having regard to Policy E6 and Paragraph 118 of the NPPF.
Approve subject to appropriate conditions.
Report prepared by: JW 12/1/15