Agenda item

22/00210/FUL - High Fields, Lower Dunton Road, Bulphan, Upminster, Essex, RM14 3TD (Deferred)


The report was presented by the Principal Planning Officer.


Members questioned the difference in terms of footprint between Cumbria (the neighbouring property) and the proposal that is the subject of this application on the basis that they appeared similar.  The Principal Planning Officer commented that the crucial consideration in relation to green belt applications is the size of the original dwelling at the application site, rather than any other dwellings surrounding it.


The Principal Planning Officer set out that a replacement dwelling could be supported by that national and local planning policy sets out that replacement buildings should not be materially larger than the original building. Members were advised that other dwellings within the street or area were not relevant to the assessment of inappropriate development.


During the debate Councillor Piccolo stated that, as much as he could understand the concerns of the Planning Officers, he felt there was exceptional circumstances to this application and from his point of view there would be no impact on the green belt due to the limited visibility of the proposal  He continued by saying that he felt that the reasons given by Members for approval at previous meetings had been clear and that each application should be taken on its own merit.


Councillor Watson commented that she was struggling with the application as she could not understand how harm to openness of the greenbelt could be linked to this application given its location. The Chair of the Committee commented that it was clear Members disagreed with the recommendation of Officers and highlighted that, should Members be mindful to approve the application, it was likely to be referred to the Monitoring Officer for their legal opinion.


The Chair thanked Members for their comments and sought if anyone wished to recommend the Officers recommendation. No Member recommended the application as per the Officers report, the Chair then sought an alternative recommendation.


The Assistant Director of Planning, Transport and Public Protection advised the Constitution was clear that an alternative recommendation would need to be put forward. He continued by advising Members that the application was considered inappropriate development and was beyond what could be seen as a reasonable enlargement relative to the existing property. It was advised that the proposal conflicts with national and local policies.


Members then put forward their reasons for approving the application, addressing each reason for refusal in term.


Members commented that the present building could not be seen from the roadside and the building itself was rather dishevelled. Members felt that the resultant property would not be incongruous in the location and would be reflective of the neighbouring properties in terms of scale. Overall, it was felt that approving the application would not impede on the openness of the greenbelt.


Members continued onto their second reason for approval to which they stated in their opinion 99% of the plot would be retained and the proposal would improve the appearance of the of the building. In addition, there would be positive impacts on the location, visual impact.  Through conditions on the, the home would be of a high quality and sustainable. Members acknowledged the harm that would be caused by reason of inappropriate development but concluded that that harm, and the harm identified by design of the scheme would be clearly outweighed by the factors presented, which were each given substantial weight.


The Chair proposed a recommendation to approve the application, and this was seconded by Councillor Watson.


For: (4) Councillors Tom Kelly (Chair), Georgette Polley (Vice-Chair), Terry Piccolo and Lee Watson


Against: (0)


Abstained: (0)


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