To consider the update report on the unauthorised operational development at Monton, Cart Lane, Grange-over-Sands.
Note – Councillor Gill Gardner declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item by virtue of the fact that the applicant was known to her and he was also the Chair of her Parish Council and having regard to bias and/or predetermination, she left the meeting during discussion on the item.
Councillor Janette Jenkinson declared a non-pecuniary interest by virtue of the fact she had sat on a committee with the applicant. She confirmed she had an open mind regarding the matter and remained in the meeting during discussion on the item.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader presented an update report on the unauthorised operational development at Monton, Cart Lane, Grange-over-Sands. He summarised the background and historical context of the development and reminded Members that an enforcement notice had been served by the authority in August 2017 and had been subject to an appeal which was unsuccessful. He explained that the Planning Inspector’s decision upheld the enforcement notice and the appellant was granted six months in which to comply with the enforcement notice in full. The Interim Development Management Team Leader advised Members that the Enforcement Officer had visited the site the previous day and that the dormer had been removed and the roof tiles reinstated. He went on to inform Members that the owners of Monton had previously confirmed their intention to comply with the requirements of the enforcement notice in full before the due date and they had also advised that, having sought their own professional advice, they considered that their permitted development rights would be reinstated and it was their intention to construct a dormer extension to the roof in the future. Local residents had disputed that permitted development rights would be reinstated and the Interim Development Management Team Leader stated that further advice had been sought from Counsel and a further report would be brought before the Planning Committee at a future meeting.
Kate Bellwood addressed the Committee and explained she was speaking as a planning professional and on behalf of a number of local residents. She stated that she and local residents were pleased that the dormer was to be removed and thanked Members for their support. She went on to explain that there was a fault in the report as it did not set out the true position and she believed that the dormer could not be rebuilt without planning permission. She highlighted that regulations stated that a dormer was only permitted development when the original eaves were maintained or reinstated and the Planning Inspector had clearly ruled that the eaves had been raised and therefore permitted development was not applicable. Ms Bellwood stated that the regulations were black and white and she highlighted the need to establish how the eaves would be reinstated and also the need to provide proof of the original height of the eaves. She went on to explain that to be permitted development, the dormer would have to match the existing house appearance and that the applicant’s proposed larger dormer, with additional glazing, would not match the existing house appearance. She highlighted the need to obtain clarification on how much glazing would be allowed under permitted development rules. Ms Bellwood stated that there was a need for Counsel to rule on whether the elevation was side or rear and she detailed the permitted glazing specifications on such elevations. She informed Members that the applicant had argued that the elevation was at the rear, and she stated that there was clear Government guidance on how to establish what constituted the side and rear elevation of a property. She explained that Counsel representing the local residents had agreed, without reservation, that the dormer would be on the side elevation and she advised Members that the property had changed since the first certificate had been issued and that the Planning Inspector had ruled that the certificate was no longer valid. Ms Bellwood informed Members of the applicant’s intention to build a bigger dormer with more glazing and she stated the urgency for clarification and communication of the findings to the applicant. She stated that if the applicant commenced building, an enforcement stop notice must be served immediately. She concluded her address by highlighting the urgency of the matter and how, for four years, the neighbour’s lives had been impacted by the erection of the dormer.
Mr Paul Worthington, a local resident, addressed the Committee. He informed Members that the owners of Monton had said that once they had complied with the enforcement notice, it was their intention to build another box dormer and that the windows would be even more harmful to the neighbours. Mr Worthington advised Members that there were several reasons why a new dormer could not be built under permitted development rules. He explained that when the Planning Inspector had considered Monton’s roof he had agreed that it had been raised unlawfully but planning permission had been granted. However, planning permission was not granted for the dormer. Mr Worthington informed Members that Point 21 of the Planning Inspector’s decision stated that planning permission had not been granted for the dormer and the roof alteration works and that they were not, either individually or together, permitted development. In addition for a dormer to be lawful, the original eaves of a house must be reinstated or maintained. Mr Worthington went on to state that although the existing roof would be lawful it could not be enlarged under permitted development because the eaves had been raised and any new dormer would require planning permission. Mr Worthington concluded his address by stating that the box dormer had been built on the side of Monton and it had destroyed the privacy of neighbours for the past four years and once the enforcement had been complied with, it was time for the elevation to be clarified and the owners informed what they could and could not do. The neighbours did not want special treatment but wanted the rules regarding privacy to finally be respected.
The Interim Development Management Team Leader acknowledged the concerns raised during the public participation address and confirmed that questions had been forwarded to Counsel.
RESOLVED – That the report on unauthorised operational development at Monton, Cart Lane, Grange-over-Sands be noted.