Onward and Upward!
We have been successful in obtaining planning permission, on appeal, for the conversion of the main part of an existing bungalow into a two-storey house and the construction of a new 2 storey garage, at a site on the edge of the village of Church Lench, in Worcestershire.
The proposal had been submitted previously by the client’s architect, but the planning officers at Wychavon District Council had resisted the original proposal on the grounds that it did not comply with their policies, including the Council’s ‘Design Guide’. Tyler Parkes were instructed to assist, and having reviewed the proposal and policies, did not agree with this view. Following a meeting and discussions with the planners, it was decided to amend the scheme to a part one/part one and a half storey dwelling, which they suggested they could support, to provide the client with the comfort of at least having a planning permission for some enlargement of the property.
Planning permission for this amended scheme was granted in September 2018, together with a new detached garage with a gym area on the first floor, which was subsequently constructed.
However, we still considered that there was no planning objection to the client’s original aspirations, so another planning application was submitted, again for the conversion to a two-storey dwelling, accompanied by a detailed Planning Support Statement by Tyler Parkes which analysed the proposal and policies and argued strongly that permission should be granted.
Nevertheless the Council decided to refuse planning permission, in January 2019, adhering to their original stance, considering that the development would ‘result in the completion transformation and significant enlargement of the property, rather than an extension of it that is subordinate in scale’. The Council also stated that it was ‘unclear whether the proposal represents a design that is of significantly higher quality in comparison to the existing property, or complements the character of the area as required by’ ….. the relevant Local Plan policy.
An appeal was lodged, in March 2019, with a fully detailed Statement of Case by Tyler Parkes together with a design statement by the architect to address the second arm of the refusal reason. The Council provided no written response and the appeal was determined on 30th July.
The Government’s Planning Inspector, in allowing the appeal, acknowledged that the proposal would result in a large extension over and above the size of the original bungalow on the site and that the increase in height would not be subordinate to the host property. She noted that the Council considered that there would be conflict with the Design Guide in this regard, but since they had not provided her with a copy of this document she was unable to conclude whether or not conflict would occur. The Inspector found that the Council had produced no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the proposal would not be of a high quality design.
In granting planning permission for our client’s scheme, the Inspector concluded that the proposal, whilst changing the character and appearance of the host property, would result in a high quality design, in keeping with the character and appearance of the area, and in accordance with the relevant policies and guidance.