Agenda item

22/P/00461 - Little Acre, Old Rectory Lane, East Horsley, Leatherhead, KT24 6QH


The Committee considered the above-mentioned full application for erection of two detached dwellings with associated parking and landscaping following demolition of the existing house.


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


·        Mr Anthony Dinkin (to object);

·        Mr James Burt (to object) and;

·        Mr Dan Stock (Applicant)


The Committee received a presentation from the Planning Officer, Morgan Laird.  The application was for the demolition of the existing house and the construction of two, two-storey detached 5-bedroom dwellings.  Old Rectory Lane was characterised by predominantly detached houses, whilst Kingston Avenue had more terraced and semi-detached housing.  Both proposed dwellings were located centrally on the plot with garden and amenity areas to the west and car parking to the east.  Plot 2 would be accessed via an existing driveway to the north and plot 1 would be accessed via a new access.  To the south, boundary treatments would be largely retained and only part removed to form the new entrance to plot 1.  A condition was recommended to retain the hedgerow along the highway, requiring the submission of a landscaping plan to be approved by the Local Planning Authority.   


The new dwellings would be approximately 1 metre above the adjoining dwellings to the north and to the south would be 679 mm above the height of the existing dwelling.  The existing hedgerow ran along the highway boundary and would screen the dwellings. 


The proposal would deliver the net increase of one dwelling in a sustainable location.  Planning officers considered the proposal would not harmfully affect the character or appearance of the site and the surrounding area or result in an unacceptable adverse impact on neighbouring properties.  The applicant had demonstrated that there would be no flood risk to the property which had been confirmed by the Environment Agency who withdrew their original objection.  The application was therefore recommended for approval.


The Chairperson permitted Ward Councillor Catherine Young to speak for three minutes.  The Committee noted concerns raised that the proposal would cause significant harm and severe changes to the character of the immediate local setting.  It would also cause a significant adverse effect on the private amenity of neighbours as well as cause an increased flood risk to surrounding properties.  The development did not comply with East Horsley’s Neighbourhood Plan, policy EH7, and contradicted Local Plan policy D1.1 Place-Shaping, as it did not respond to the local character and did not meet the test for respecting local distinctiveness.  The height of both houses would be much taller than the rest of the dwellings in the cul-de-sac and was far less screened than the others.  The two houses would dominate the street scene from every angle.  The scale, mass and bulk of the two dwellings was excessive when compared to the surrounding properties which were comprised of bungalows and more chalet type dwellings.  This development would therefore cause substantial harm to the local character and streetscene.  As specified by policy EH8 regarding residential infilling, a development that caused any material harm to neighbouring amenities would not be supported.  The need to protect private amenity space was also given weight in policy D5.  As well as overlooking, the height and bulk of the new houses would dominate views to and from neighbouring properties and gardens.  Lastly, the government’s official website showed that the site was at high risk of flooding.  The proposal was therefore contrary to Local Plan H4 and EHN5 of the Neighbourhood Plan.


In response to comments made by the public speakers and Ward Councillor, the planning officer, Morgan Laird confirmed that the applicant had submitted a report with hydraulic modelling to the Environment Agency which then resulted in the withdrawal of their objection.  The hedgerow would also be protected by condition.   


The Committee discussed the application and noted concerns raised about residential infilling Policy EH8.  Plot 1 appeared very close to the existing dwelling and much closer than the current houses which would have an impact upon neighbouring amenity.  The Committee also noted support for the application given that the proposal was consistent with the Neighbourhood Plan and the site was inset, it was therefore difficult to identify the harm.



The Joint Executive Head of Planning, Claire Upton-Brown confirmed that the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plan recognised the need for additional dwellings and that windfall sites had to also be considered.  In the planning officers view, there was a mixture of plot sizes and dwellings with other properties close to adjoining boundaries.  The Committee therefore had to decide whether the subdivision of the site and putting two dwellings on it was in keeping and if not did it warrant refusal of the application.     


The Committee noted that there had been mention of a restrictive covenant in place on the land and wanted to know if this had any bearing on the consideration of the application.  The Legal Advisor, Claire Beesly confirmed that it was not a material planning consideration and that only the land owner could take up that benefit afforded by the restrictive covenant.


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









Cait Taylor





Maddy Redpath





Richard Mills





Howard Smith





Stephen Hives





Joanne Shaw





James Jones





Sue Wyeth-Price





Vanessa King





Catherine Houston





Bilal Akhtar





Fiona White





David Bilbé












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


RESOLVED to approve application 22/P/00461 subject:


(i)                That a S106 obligation be secured:


A SANGS contribution and an Access Management and Monitoring Contribution in accordance with the adopted tariff of the SPA Avoidance Strategy to mitigate against the impact on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area.


(ii)              That upon completion of (i) above, the application determined by the Executive Head of Development Management subject to conditions.









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