Agenda item

21/P/01537 - Forest Farm, Forest Road, East Horsley, Leatherhead, KT24 5ER


Prior to consideration of the above-mentioned application, the following persons addressed the Committee in accordance with Public Speaking Procedure Rules 3(b):


·         Ms Louisa Richter von Morgenstern acting on behalf of Mr Ian Dixon (to object);

·         Mrs Denise Etwell (In support) and;

·         Ms Susan Hoysted (In support).


The Committee considered the full application for construction of a single storey, two-bedroom dwelling. 


The Committee received a presentation from planning officer, Katie Williams.  The site was located within the identified settlement of East Horsley which was inset from the Green Belt and was also within the 400 metre to 5km buffer zone of the Thames Basin Heath SPA.  The site consisted of a detached dwelling which was a Grade II Listed Building and fronted onto Forest Road.  It had a long rear garden which extended to the railway line which ran to the north-east of the site.  The trees along the frontage of the site were covered by a Tree Preservation Order.  The character of the surrounding area was residential, consisting of detached dwellings fronting Forest Road, with spacious plots.


The proposal was for the construction of a single storey L-shaped 2-bedroom dwelling in the rear garden of the existing house on the site.  The proposed development would be accessed via the existing vehicular access which ran along the side of the dwelling.  The existing dwelling parking was proposed for at least three cars on an existing graveled area.  To the front of the proposed plot, sufficient parking would also be retained for the host dwelling on the existing driveway.  The Conservation Officer had no objection in terms of the impact of the proposal on the setting of the Listed Building and was concluded that there would be no material harm to the significance of the heritage asset.  However, officers consider that the proposal to position the new dwelling set back behind a prevailing pattern of development along Forest Road would not respect the wider established character of the area.


The proposed development was to incorporate several sustainability measures and would look to achieve a 94% reduction in carbon emissions from the standard target.  Emissions rate ecological enhancement measures were also proposed including planting and enhancement to the existing hedgerows.  Due to the single-storey height and separation distance to neighbouring properties it was considered that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact on neighbouring amenity.


The elevations of the proposed dwelling were of a contemporary design, incorporating block element components.  There was a slight difference in height between the two block sections with the living block having a maximum of 4 metres and bedroom block set down slightly with a maximum of 3.3 metres.  The roof would incorporate photovoltaic panels and a biodiverse green roof.


In conclusion, whilst there were no objections to the proposed development in principle.  It was considered that the proposal would result in an inappropriate form of backland development that would fail to respect the wider established character of the area and would not be substantially surrounded by development contrary to the requirements of Policy IH8 of the East Horsley Neighbourhood Plan.  It was considered that the proposal would result in significant harm to the established character and appearance of the area which was also contrary to the design aims of Policy D1 of the Local Plan and G5 of the saved Local Plan.  The application was therefore recommended for refusal due to concerns regarding the application.  The applicant had not been invited to enter into a S106 Agreement to secure the required SANG and SAMM contributions to mitigate the impact on the Thames Basin Heath SPA and was therefore included as a reason for refusal.           


The Chairman permitted Councillor Catherine Young to speak for three minutes in her capacity as ward councillor.  The Committee noted points raised that there were many public benefits of the development which were exceptional and clearly outweighed the planning harm of backland development.  This application took a proactive approach to mitigating and adapting to climate change as required by the NPPF through a host of reduction methods such as the green roof and many other features listed in the Design and Access Statement.  The scheme was designed as net zero home which more than exceeded our own requirement for reductions in carbon emissions.  The design was also innovative and minimized its impact upon the environment.  The principle of development was also found to be acceptable by planning officers.  There was no adverse impact on neighbouring amenity and the site was well screened therefore limiting the impact upon the character of the area.  A wealth of biodiversity and ecological enhancements were also provided, and no harm would be caused to existing heritage assets.


The Committee discussed the application and noted concerns raised that the proposal did not represent a limited infill backland development.  Whilst the design of the dwelling incorporated good energy efficiency design features, it still constituted an inappropriate form of backland development.  The Committee discussed the pros and cons of the proposed development and agreed overall that owing to the development representing an inappropriate form of backland development, it would therefore fail to respect the wider established character of the area and would not be substantially surrounded by existing development.  It would also be harmful to the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (TBHSPA). 


A motion was moved and seconded to refuse the application which was carried.

















Ramsey Nagaty





Jon Askew





Cait Taylor





Ruth Brothwell





Paul Spooner





Chris Blow





Tony Rooth





Will Salmon





David Bilbe





Fiona White





Maddy Redpath





Angela Goodwin





Colin Cross





Angela Gunning











In conclusion, having taken account of the representations received in relation to the application, the Committee


RESOLVED to refuse application 21/P/01537 subject to the reasons givens in the report.   



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