Planning Application 171882 – Outbuilding at 185 Church Road
Comments from ACER, The Whitegates Residents Association
ACER wishes to Object to this Application
ACER is concerned that the provision of a large outbuilding in the garden fundamentally alters the characteristics of the suburban garden landscape in the neighbourhood, unless the work is done sympathetically to blend in with a garden vista. Currently there is nothing in the Application to suggest that any effort is being made in this regard and therefore ACER object to this Application.
ACER wishes to bring the following points to your attention:
- The Borough Design Guide states on page 7 ‘The key priority….as set out in the Core Strategy, is to maintain the quality of environment for local residents….development is required to be : compatible with local character…’
- To build a large brick building at the bottom of a suburban garden risks being an eyesore to all the local residents unless measures are taken to blend it in with a garden vista.
- Measures that can be taken to blend in such a building are as follows
- .To use brown UPVC for windows, doors, fascias, barge boards and guttering as this blends in, in contrast to White UPVC as proposed, which stands out and attracts the eye.
- To use roofing the same colour as the main building, i.e. the colour of weathered clay tiles
- To use vegetation to screen all sides of the outbuilding.
- To use similar colour bricks as used on the main property, or, preferably timber cladding of the style used on garden summer houses
- Alternatively, to install a timber summerhouse style building in preference to a brick built property. There are many attractive styles and they are often fitted out with gym equipment.
- The side and rear walls of the property are set back from the property boundary at both the front and rear. They should be inset by one metre to allow for screening vegetation to be reinstated plus allow maintenance accessibility. This screening and setting back from the boundary should be a condition of acceptance.
- The building drawing submitted is both incorrect and omits critical dimensions. The room shown as a ‘store’ is in fact twice the size and has been built as a bathroom, The side window is in the wrong location and the height of the building is not defined.
- The height of flat roofed outbuildings within 4m of the boundary must not be greater than 3m above the original ground level if it is not to dominate neighbouring gardens and comply with government requirements There is circumstantial evidence that the ground level has been artificially raised in the area, so the true height as built above the original ground level needs to be checked.
- It should be noted that such outbuildings are classed as ‘ancillary dwellings’ to the main property. The use of such outbuildings for sleeping accommodation by family members is permitted. If it is not the intention of WBC to allow the outbuilding to be regularly used as additional accommodation to the main building, then this condition should be stated as a condition of any approval.
In summary, the existing outbuilding as proposed is an eyesore in a suburban garden environment, looking more like a cheap industrial building than a garden building. Conditions including maximum height, colour and appearance of materials, plus reinstatement of soft landscape screening all around the building and accurate as-built drawings are required if it is minded to approve this Application.