BCP Council (Bournemouth area): Chris Miell is thrilled to announced that he’s secured planning permission for a plot split in the Northbourne area of Bournemouth.

The application site, which is located on Horsham Avenue, is occupied by a two-storey semi-detached dwelling with a long rear garden.  At the bottom of the garden is a large single storey garden room, which provides ancillary accommodation. The approved plans were prepared by ARC Architecture.

The residential properties on Horsham Avenue are laid out in a linear pattern with a consistent building line of semi-detached dwellings located on either side of the road. Along the road, and, within the immediate area, there are many examples of plot severance and backland, which has resulted in a variety of plot sizes and building types within the immediate area.

In late 2022, the homeowner sought planning permission to demolish an existing garage and garden room, sever the land and erect 1 x 2-bed bungalow with parking and bike store. The Council refused the application concluding that the proposed development would have a harmful impact upon the character and appearance of the area. They expressed concerns about the footprint of the proposed dwelling and its proximity to site boundaries.

The Council also found that the future occupants of the proposed dwelling would have unsatisfactory living conditions due to a lack of privacy caused by overlooking by the close proximity of the neighbouring dwellings to the front and rear. Finally, the Council objected to the proposed parking and turning arrangements, but these concerns were later overcome through the submission of an amended site plan and tracking drawings.

We were instructed by the homeowner to appeal the Council’s decision. We prepared a robust appeal statement and the Inspector found favourably towards the appellant with regards to the impact upon the character and appearance of the area and highway safety matter. However, the Inspector dismissed the appeal because they were concerned about the potential overlooking of the proposed rear garden area from the houses to the rear of the site.

The Inspector was firm in their decision regarding the principle of development, concluding that “The principle of sub-dividing the existing plot to form a new dwelling at the rear would not be out of keeping in this area where this appears a relatively common feature. Both dwellings would have small rear gardens, but properties in this area have a mix of plot sizes such that this would not be at odds with surrounding development.”

On that basis, we were instructed to submit a revised application, which sought to resolve the overlooking issue. Prior to resubmission, Chris reviewed the previous plans and suggested several changes to the applicant, which included repositioning the dwelling closer to the rear boundary. This allowed for the creation of a larger front garden area, which could be screened with trees to provide suitable private amenity space. To ensure that a suitable outlook would be provided, the revised design included additional windows and sky lights.

Upon consideration of the application, the Planning Officer was supportive of revised scheme. In her report she stated “With regards to the impact on future occupiers, the proposed dwelling will provide a living/dining room with two bedrooms. Overall, the dwelling will measure 61.2 sqm, this meets the national minimum space standards for a three-person, two bedroom dwelling. Both the main bedroom and living room will be afforded adequate light and outlook from front windows. A rooflight will also supplement light into the living room. The secondary bedroom will face out onto a narrow pathway and fence. Light will also be provided from a rooflight. Although a better standard of outlook would be preferred, it is considered that this would not constitute ground for refusal.”

On that basis, the Council’s previous concerns were overcome and full planning permission was granted for the revised scheme. The client was understandably delighted with this decision and is now making preparations to construct the new dwelling.

If you have a parcel of land and would like to pursue a residential development then why not call Pure Town Planning on 01202 585524 or email info@puretownplanning.co.uk to see how we can help you.