Agenda item

22/P/00423 - 1 Parklands Place, Guildford, GU1 2PS


The Committee considered the above-mentioned full application for erection of a single storey side extension, small bay window extension to side along with changes to fenestration and new rendered finish to external walls, following demolition of existing side conservatory. 


The Committee received a presentation from the planning officer, Kieran Cuthbert.  The Committee noted that the proposal was for a small bay window extension as well as demolition of an existing conservatory as replacement of a side extension.  The site was located on a corner plot and as such the front elevation was located on 1 Parklands Place.  A modest bay window with a hipped roof was proposed as opposed to the existing flat roofed bay window.  The existing conservatory was 3.3 metres in height whereas the proposed was 1 metre higher with a height of 4.3 metres.  The depth of the existing conservatory was 3.75 metres and the proposed was 6 metres.  The windows on the front elevation of the proposal would face the road and were not considered an overlooking concern.  There were no proposed windows facing the neighbouring flats on the rear side either.  The existing 2.1-metre-high fence should hide the majority of the works from the streetscene.  Given the existing overshadowing from the orientation of the flats and houses, the officers did not believe that the proposed extensions would cause any additional concerns to the site.  There were some basement windows at neighbouring sites, however these were as existing and were already impacted by the fence and conservatory.  The proposed extension would not provide any great overshadowing of those windows and the scheme was therefore recommended for approval.


The Chairman permitted Councillor Deborah Seabrook to speak for three minutes in her capacity as Ward Councillor. 


The Committee noted comments made that the scheme breached the Local Plan, the NPPF and Supplementary Planning Document.  Saved policy H8 from Local Plan 2003 stated that ‘Planning permission to extend dwellings in the urban areas will be granted provided the development, has no adverse effect on the scale and character of the dwelling and has no unacceptable effect on the amenities enjoyed by the occupants of adjacent buildings in terms of privacy and access to sunlight and daylight.  This was fleshed out in the Residential Extensions and Alterations SPD 2018, which stated in 2.3 ‘the extension should normally, respect the scale and mass of the dwelling and be set back from the original front elevation.  In section 3.1 of the SPD it stated extensions should be well balanced and that they should not exceed more than half the width of the original house.  The officer’s report noted the footprint of the extension would exceed half the width of the property which was 75% (or ¾) of the width of the existing house. That large increase did not respect the proportions of the original and the result was that the property appeared lop-sided and not well balanced which can be seen in the proposed elevation drawings. Furthermore, the extension was not set back from the original front elevation, as recommended in 2.3 of the SPD.  The Committee noted that the late amendments to the plans had addressed one of the ward councillor’s concerns, that of a large blank brick wall on the front elevation. Nevertheless, there was still a substantial blank section between the cloakroom window and the additional window in the kitchen/dining area. This was on a wall that faced the street, albeit partly behind a fence. From the proposed street elevation it looked somewhat strange. This was contrary to section 3.1 of the SPD which states: Extensions that face highways should have active frontages i.e. should not be blank walls.  They should include windows or other detailing to help improve the appearance of a blank wall.  Turning to the rear elevation, which was very close to 145 Epsom Road, it appeared the eaves height exceeded the height of the fence. The solid nature of the wall (in comparison to the current conservatory) on that west side meant that light to basement flat 7 would be reduced.  It therefore affected neighbouring amenity which was protected by the SPD para 2.2 and the saved policy H8 in Local Plan 2003.   In conclusion, NPPF chapter 12, para 134, says that development that is not well designed should be refused, especially where it failed to reflect local design policies.


The Committee discussed the application and noted concerns regarding the officer’s recommending approval for an application which went against the Council’s SPD. Concerns were also raised regarding the size of the extension representing a 75% increase of the width of the existing house.  There was also an anticipated loss of light impact of the extension upon the existing flats given the conservatory was going to be replaced by a solid building. 


The Interim Head of Place, Dan Ledger confirmed that the SPD was a guidance document and provided a good set of principles to follow but was not a policy.  It was therefore not the case that if one of the principles was contravened am automatic refusal would be recommended by planning officers.  The amount of harm caused by the proposal had to be considered and carefully balanced.  In terms of the property in question, its layout and location, although it was referred to as a side extension, given its corner location, it was not the set out you would normally expect in a side extension, extending between the gap of two houses on a street frontage and wrapping around the corner.  It presented in a very different way when observed in the vicinity of the urban area with a lot of big development around it.  The Committee was cautioned against saying that the proposal was too big and therefore unacceptable.  Within urban areas there was no policy that said beyond a certain percentage increase development was unacceptable.  Permitted development allowances in domestic dwellings allowed up to eight metre extensions at the rear.  Whilst this was a side extension because of its layout on the corner, it appeared that the rear extension would not be uncommon for that level of single storey extension to be constructed.  The impact upon neighbouring amenity was concluded to be acceptable in planning terms.                


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










Fiona White





Angela Goodwin





Maddy Redpath





Pauline Searle





Chris Barrass





Ramsey Nagaty





David Bilbe





Angela Gunning





Jon Askew





Bob McShee





Ruth Brothwell











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


RESOLVED to approve application 22/P/00423 subject to the conditions and reasons as detailed in the report.




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