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  • Gareth Jones

Planning permission for Damson Homes

Tyler Parkes have obtained outline planning permission for the erection of 10 new houses for their clients, Damson Homes, after an ‘about turn’ by Birmingham City Council’s Planning Committee.

The site comprises parts of long rear gardens to existing properties within a wholly residential area in Leach Green Road, Rednal, but takes access from the end of an existing cul-de-sac at Ash Bridge Court.

The application was accompanied by the necessary surveys to demonstrate there were no issues with regard to trees, ecology, drainage or highways, and a detailed Planning Support Statement by this Practice. After various technical queries had been addressed and resolved, the application was reported to a meeting of the Council’s Planning Committee in early July with a recommendation of approval from the planning officers, who concluded that this was an entirely acceptable, sustainable development.

However the proposal had attracted a lot of local opposition from neighbours and a local ward member. Gareth Jones of Tyler Parkes appeared at the Committee meeting to present the proposal and address and rebut these objections; in their subsequent debate members raised various technical queries about trees and drainage, which were answered by officers who advised that there were no planning objections on these grounds. No other discussions took place.

It was with some surprise that when the application was put to a vote, members resolved that they were minded to refuse planning permission on the grounds of loss of trees, inappropriate ‘backland’ development and loss of amenity to neighbouring properties. However, apart from trees, none of the other concerns had been mentioned during the Committee’s debate, let alone discussed, and no opportunity was given to officers to respond and advise!

In cases where recommendations for approval are overturned the Council’s procedure is to ‘defer’ the application, and return it to a subsequent Committee meeting for formal determination, with a further report from officers commenting on the putative reasons for refusal and providing possible formal reasons.

In this instance our application was returned to the meeting on August 1st, and the advice from officers was clear-cut: there were no good grounds for refusal, neither of the Committee’s reasons for refusal would survive scrutiny by a Planning Inspector at an appeal and would leave the City Council exposed for a costs claim by the applicant which would be likely to succeed. The original recommendation to approve subject to conditions was re-iterated.

This time, after a lengthy discussion, the Committee decided to accept their officers’ advice and, perhaps rather reluctantly, granted outline planning permission.


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