Agenda and minutes
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Conduct of the meeting
Prior to the start of the meeting agenda, the Chair explained the procedure for the virtual meeting and the method he would employ to ensure the voting was accurately completed. The Chair also ensured that all participants were introduced.
The committee will take items in the following order:
1. All items where people wish to speak and have registered with Democratic Services.
2. Any remaining items the committee agrees can be determined without further debate.
3. Those applications which the committee wishes to discuss in detail.
Apologies for absence
There were no apologies.
Disclosure of interests
Councillor Collett declared that she had been approached by local residents in relation to item 4 of the agenda (62 High Road), but she had directed them to her fellow ward councillors.
The minutes of both of the meetings held on 4 November 2020 to be agreed and will be signed at the next non-virtual meeting.
Councillor Pattinson noted that the minutes for 4 November meetings showed her as voting, but she had sent her apologies for those meetings and had been substituted by Councillor Grimston. The minutes for both meetings were approved, subject to the amendments being made to the minutes.
The Chair introduced the item to the committee and invited the Principal Planning Officer (AR) to present her report. The Principal Planning Officer presented the application as set out in her report.
The Chair thanked the Principal Planning Officer for her report and invited to Mr Alistair Snell to speak against the application.
Mr Snell stated that he had three points. His property was built five years ago and during that process, a previous application for a dormer bungalow had been refused. Mr Snell quoted from that decision, which stated that a development of that nature in that location, did not comply with the policies at that time. He made the comparison with the situation of 62 High Road.
Mr Snell went on to say that the residents of this area lived here because they wanted to live in an area of bungalows and did not want to be overlooked. The development was entirely out of character with the area.
He concluded that when his bungalow had been built, it had been constructed with the rear of the house being open, because the assumption had been that only bungalows were allowed in the area, so they would never be overlooked. This was no longer the case should the application be granted. He asked that the original condition of obscured glazing to the rear be reinstated.
The Chair invited the Principal Planning Officer to respond to the points raised. She stated that she was aware of the history and that originally a condition of obscured glazing had been imposed. However, due to the distances between the properties and the length of the rear garden, this condition was not required and if challenged, may be found to be unjustified. She commented that somewhat unusually, the original obscured glazing condition had been offered by the developer and accepted.
In relation to the development being out of character for the area, the Principal Planning Officer explained that over the past five years, the design guide had changed and this current development complied with current policies. She added that previously the dormer windows had been approved.
The Chair thanked the Principal Planning officer for her assistance and invited Councillor Saffery to address the committee.
Councillor Saffery stated that he disapproved of the way the developers had been dealing with the local residents and also of their disregard of the planning regulations.
He went on to assert that this application was entirely out of character with the local area and that it allowed the bungalows to be overlooked. He expressed his strong opinion that the council should be sending a firm message to developers that breaches of planning regulations would not be tolerated.
The Chair thanked Councillor Saffery and added that he was highly critical of developers obtaining planning permission, then building something different.
A number of members expressed their strong disapproval about the poor conduct of the developer and their apparent underhand tactics. A number mentioned that they wished they could withhold planning permission because ... view the full minutes text for item 42.
The Chair introduced the item to the committee and invited the Principal Planning Officer (HH) to present her report. The Principal Planning Officer explained her report. In addition she highlighted an error, where in paragraphs 3.2 and 3.3, the report erroneously refers to a three bedroom house, when in fact the application is for a two bedroom house.
The Chair thanked the Principal Planning Officer for her report and invited Mr Gili-Ross to address the committee.
Mr Gili-Ross commended the Principal Planning Officer’s recommendation to approve the application and added that the setting back of the proposed building ensured that existing dwellings were not disadvantaged. He stated that he looked forward to providing a new home and in a small way, assist with the housing shortage in Watford.
The Chair thanked Mr Gili-Ross and invited comments from the committee.
There was a concern expressed over the comment in paragraph 6.14 of the report, regarding the reduction in light levels to the living/kitchen area of the neighbouring property.
The Principal Planning Officer explained that this part of the residence had two windows. The main window to the living area was to the rear and this would not be affected.
The Chair then proposed a vote that planning permission be approved, subject to the conditions in Section 8 of the officer’s report and noting the correction to the report in the update sheet.
In accordance with Standing Committee Procedure Rules, paragraph 4.2, Councillor Jeffree requested that it be recorded in the minutes how members cast their votes.
Those members voting for the motion:
Councillors Bell, Collett, Jeffree, Johnson, Mills, Pattinson, Sharpe, Smith and Watkin
Those members voting against the motion:
The motion was declared to be CARRIED unanimously.
That planning permission be granted, subject to the following conditions and informatives:
1. The development to which this permission relates shall be begun within a period of three years commencing on the date of this permission.
2. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved drawings:
3116-NMA1-B_Rev B.9.11.2020 – Proposed Block Plan, Floorplans and Elevations
Site Location Plan/OS Plan
3. No construction works shall commence until details of the materials to be used in the construction of the external surfaces of the building hereby permitted have been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be carried out only in accordance with the approved materials.
4. Before the occupation of the development, details of both hard and soft landscape works, including details of boundary treatments, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The hard landscaping works and boundary treatments shall be carried out in accordance with the approved details before any part of the development is occupied.
All planting, seeding or turfing comprised in the approved details of landscaping shall be carried out in the first planting season and seeding seasons following the occupation of the building or ... view the full minutes text for item 43.