Agenda item

Planning Application DC/23/1938/VAR - 21 Fordham Place, Ixworth (Report No: DEV/WS/24/011)

Report No: DEV/WS/24/011


Planning application - variation of condition 5 of DC/20/1784/HH to allow for different design of privacy screen for first floor extension above existing two bay garage and external staircase with balcony to form annexe


Planning application - variation of condition 5 of DC/20/1784/HH to allow for different design of privacy screen for first floor extension above existing two bay garage and external staircase with balcony to form annexe


This application was referred to the Development Control Committee following consideration by the Delegation Panel.


Ixworth & Ixworth Thorpe Parish Council supported the application, which was contrary to the Officer recommendation of refusal for the reason set out in Paragraph 47 of Report No DEV/WS/24/011.


The Committee was advised that planning permission was granted under DC/20/1784/HH in 2021 for a first-floor extension above an existing two bay garage, along with an external staircase with balcony to form an annexe. A privacy screen was added during the course of that application to ensure that the effects of overlooking from the raised external staircase and balcony were acceptable given the proximity of this site to neighbouring dwellings.


The first-floor annexe and associated staircase and balcony had been built but the privacy screening had not yet been installed.


A previous Variation of Condition application (DC/23/1117/VAR) which sought amendments to the position, form, and materials of the approved privacy screening was refused on 27 October 2023. The application now being considered proposed an alternative variation to the privacy screen.


Since publication of the agenda Officers were made aware that the applicants had contacted all Members of the Committee directly and had referenced the Human Rights Act. The Senior Planning Officer therefore responded to this as part of her presentation and drew attention to the relevant parts of legislation.


Videos of the site were also shown to Members.


Speakers:    Councillor Ben Lord (Ixworth & Ixworth Thorpe Parish Council) spoke in support of the application

                   Alf & Janice Percival (applicants) spoke in support of the application by way of a pre-recorded audio file which the Democratic Services Officer played to the meeting


Councillor Lora-Jane Miller-Jones sought clarification as to which properties would be able to see the proposed privacy screen. The Senior Planning Officer confirmed that it was not visible by any other properties aside from Nos 7a and 8 Gough Place.


During the debate a number of Members remarked on the comments made by the applicant in relation to the delay in occupation of the annexe due to the referral of the application to Committee, and questioned why the initial privacy screen, for which permission had been granted in 2021, had not been implemented.


In response, the Service Manager (Planning – Development) referred Members to the applicant’s reasoning for not implementing the approved screen contained in the report but also advised Members to consider the acceptability of the proposals before them.


Councillor Sara Mildmay-White proposed that the application be refused, as per the Officer recommendation, and this was duly seconded by Councillor Roger Dicker.


Upon being put to the vote and with 8 voting for the motion, 4 against and with 2 abstentions it was resolved that




Planning permission be REFUSED for the following reason:


1.   Policy DM2 and DM24 requires development respects the character, scale and design of the existing house and the character and appearance of the immediate and surrounding area and does not adversely affect the residential amenity of occupiers of nearby properties, which is supported by policy CS3.

Paragraphs 135, 139 and 140 of the NPPF require quality, well designed and visually attractive development which is not materially diminished between permission and completion.

The proposed privacy screen is not considered to be a robust or well-designed method of screening, resulting in a materially diminished substitute from what was consciously negotiated with the applicant as part of the approval of the original annexe.

The proposed changes to the privacy screen design are deemed to lead to an incongruous screening solution which is not sufficiently robust to provide an adequate level of screening for the life of the development, leading to a visually oppressive and jarring relationship to the neighbouring property (7A Gough Place) to a degree which would be materially harmful.

Therefore, the proposal is deemed to be contrary to policies DM2 and DM24 of the Joint Development Management Policies Document, CS3 of the St Edmundsbury Core Strategy, as well as paragraphs 135, 139 and 140 of the National Planning Policy Framework.


(On conclusion of this item the Chair permitted a short comfort break.)

Supporting documents: