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Red light for condition change on housing development

Times Echo and Life / All News / Red light for condition change on housing development
26 days, 19 hours ago1 Comment.
27 AUG

Red light for condition change on housing development

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News

A developer may have to demolish two partially-built houses on land off Thorley Drive, after an application to alter a planning permission condition was rejected. Keepmoat Homes applied to vary conditions on ground levels for two properties on the land which had been elevated by around a metre.

developer may have to demolish two partially-built houses on land off Thorley Drive, after an application to alter a planning permission condition was rejected.

Keepmoat Homes applied to vary conditions on ground levels for two properties on the land which had been elevated by around a metre.

Residents of Thorley Drive, whose properties back onto the site – raised concerns the raised properties would impact on privacy, offering views into bedrooms and gardens.

As part of the application to vary the condition of the original planning permission, Keepmoat Homes asked to retain the elevated ground level, but introduce measures such as moving principal windows to the sides of the properties and installing obscured glass in patio doors to help retain privacy and amenity for neighbours.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) planning applications committee considered the proposals at a meeting on Thursday (August 20).

Anthony Joynes, Cllr Ian Plant and Cllr Greg Powell all spoke under public participation, asking for the application to be refused. A statement from Cllr Richard Alcock asking for refusal was also read out.

Cllr Plant said: “The applicant has continued to work on site. Considering he’s carried on with construction, it looks like he has total disregard for this planning authority at this moment in time.

This piece of land was reasonably flat with a slight incline like Thorley Drive. I believe this land has been built up levelled to this height by Keepmoat Homes.

Have these part houses taken down and built at the right level they should have been.”

Lewis Charity of Keepmoat Homes addressed the committee also under public participation. He said: “A number of comments make reference to ‘builder errors.’ There appears to be genuine belief by residents of Thorley Drive that plots one and two have been built incorrectly – more specifically, one metre higher than they should be.

The finished floor level for plots one and two has not changed since its original design which was submitted with the reserved matters application on February 22, 2018.

Furthermore, this was only raised as an issue several months after starting on site. I can confirm that plots one and two have been built in strict accordance with the information submitted and the finished floor level has been constructed as per the design.”

Mr Charity added that continuing with the partly-built homes with principal windows moved to the sides of the properties and other measures to protect privacy would be the ‘lesser of two evils’ compared to demolishing the properties and principal windows remaining at the rear.

Planning officer at SMDC Jane Curley said: “The levels information has not been approved by the council. The levels information is subject to a condition – condition six – in the outline permission. That is outstanding.

The levels are subject to a condition in the outline and that is what this application is seeking to do really, which is to retain plots one and two at the level that they have been built with additional measures to improve that relationship with properties in Thorley Drive.”

Elected members of the planning applications committee debated the issue, with Cllr Jim Davies ‘strongly’ opposing the application and proposing permission be refused.

He was supported by nine members at the vote, with four against, and the application to vary condition six was refused on grounds of “loss of amenity and impact on the street scene, character and appearance.”

The refusal could mean that the partly-built homes would have to be demolished, the ground lowered by around a metre, and construction re-started for plots one and two. However, Keepmoat Homes do have the right to appeal the decision.

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1 Comment

  • This is obviously not a "builders error" The raising of the ground level could not have been accidental. Virtually every developer builds properties that are not "to plan" to suit them, usually for financial benefit. Then, after being found out, they apply for retrospective planning permission and the Council gives in. They have no respect for planners and residents who may be affected. The only concern is £££££'s
    Written by Joseph., August 28, 2020 - Reply

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