The demolition of 16 Downs Wood and the erection of 8 dwellings on land to the rear, with associated landscaping and car parking. As amended on 14/10/2020.
The Committee considered an application at 16 Downs Wood and Rear Of 37, 39, 41, 43, 45 & 47 Yew Tree Bottom Road, Epsom Downs, Epsom for the demolition of 16 Downs Wood and the erection of 8 dwellings on land to the rear, with associated landscaping and car parking. As amended on 14/10/2020.
Alex Mosely spoke in objection to the application on behalf his clients at 4 Kenmore Close and 35 Yew Tree Bottom Road. The L shaped development showed that there would be rear facing windows from 4 properties directly into habitable side windows of 4 Kenmore Close. The properties would overlook the garden and the distance from these homes to the shared boundary was 12 metres. The plans did not address the issues of privacy and overlooking, and the layout was not a typical back land development. This could be improved if all the properties were positioned in the same direction.
In respect of the residents of 35 Yew Tree Bottom Road, plot 8 would detract from the enjoyment of their property and plans were inaccurate as they did not show his client’s summerhouse. There would be an unacceptable loss of light and sunlight, particularly in peak summertime and the applicant had not prepared a daylight and sunlight assessment. There would be an infringement of privacy from rear facing windows. The applicant had not considered the Planning Inspector’s concerns around character and he urged the Committee to refuse the application.
Sarah Farrar spoke in objection to the application, stating that there had been more than 200 objections submitted against the application, a significantly larger number than the applications in 2016 and 2019 received. It was felt that the application had been rushed through with a total of 6 amendments since July 2020. The proposal did not provide affordable homes and there was no shortage of luxury homes in the area. The application was an overdevelopment, was not in keeping with the surrounding area and affected privacy. There would be a loss of trees with TPOs and the development would cause harm to wildlife. There was not enough room for bins in the designated refuse area and the volume of bins would create issues with odour. The bin lorry would also cause congestion. The development would be at the detriment of local residents.
Peter Rutter, the Architect for the development, spoke in support of the application stating the Planning Inspector’s concerns and reasons for refusal the previous year had been considered. The application had been developed in consultation with Planning Officers and comments from neighbouring properties had been taken into account. The properties would be of red brick construction with catslide rooves. The properties were generously separated and were well landscaped. Objections from 3 Kenmore Close and 35 Yew Tree Bottom Road had been addressed. Refuse had been considered with Refuse Officers. If refuse became an issue, a commercial collection of bins could be arranged.
Councillor Harrison, a visiting Member for the ward, spoke on the application, noting that this was the 3rd application on the site in 5 years. The Planning Inspector rejected the previous scheme on 3 counts, some of which had been addressed, however this application was the same size as the application in 2016 and that had been dismissed. The proposal was an overdevelopment. Plot 8 would have a significant impact on 35 Yew Tree Bottom Road. Road access on Downs Wood was narrow and parking would difficult, as would access. Page 12 of the report highlighted the Planning Inspector’s concerns regarding bin collection.
Reasons for refusal were proposed by Councillor Bray and seconded by Councillor Harp, whereupon the Committee voted and RESOLVED that planning permission be REFUSED on the grounds that:
1. The proposed development by virtue of the bulk, scale and massing of the dwellings, dominance of hard surfaces and parking areas to the front of the houses, together with the bin collection point on the access road, would appear cramped, overly dense, car dominated and out of character with the pattern of development in the locality, contrary to policies DES1 and DES2 of the Development Management Plan 2019 and the Reigate and Banstead Local Distinctiveness Design Guide SPD.
2. The proposed development by virtue of the mass of the flank wall of plot 8 and its proximity to the boundary, would have an overbearing impact on the southern end of the rear garden of 35 Yew Tree Bottom Road and would overshadow the existing summerhouse during late afternoon hours, harmful to the residential amenities of this dwelling contrary to policies DES1 and DES2 of the Development Management Plan 2019.
3. The proposed development, by virtue of the location of the refuse and recycling presentation point, would result a harmful impact upon the residential amenities of 14 and 18 Downs Wood by way of noise and disturbance. The proposal is thereby contrary to policies DES1 and DES2 of the Development Management Plan 2019.