Agenda item

Planning Application 21/01562/FUL - Laurdine, Howley, Chard, Somerset, TA20 3DU


Application Proposal: Erection of replacement two storey dwelling and garage/home office together with remodelling of the site levels.


The Specialist – Principal Planner presented the application as outlined in the agenda and advised that the application had been referred to Committee due to the objections received from the Blackdown Hills AONB Partnership.  She advised that the height of the proposed dwelling had been reduced and the building would be set into the natural slope slightly to reduce the overall impact.  The closest dwellings to the north and south of the site were two storey, therefore the proposal was considered to be in keeping with the surrounding area.  There was a substantial increase in footprint but given the design, plot size and the first floor partly within the roof, the overall scale and massing was reduced.  The retention of existing planting would also provide screening for the new building.


The Specialist – Principal Planner referred to the objections raised by the AONB Partnership in relation to landscape and advised that whilst there was formalisation of a driveway, the excavation required and associated retaining wall would be within application site.  She also mentioned an objection received that referred to Section 106 agreements and confirmed that the land to which the application site related was not included within these Section 106 agreements.  The officer recommended that the application be approved subject to conditions.


In response to questions, the Principal Planner confirmed that:


·         There was space in the roof above the garage for possible home office/storage space.

·         One end of the building would be dug in and the other raised up to create a level site.

·         The site was not included in the S106 obligation to the north of the site.

·         Land ownership issues were legal matters and not covered by the planning process.

·         The impact on the Blackdown Hills AONB was taken into consideration in the assessment of the application but given the context of the proposal, screening, footprint and location there was not sufficient grounds to recommend refusal.

·         The replacement was considered on a one for one basis.

·         The development was considered compatible with and sympathetic in scale, design, materials, layout and siting to the character and setting of adjoining buildings and to the landscape character of the location.

·         There was a drainage condition attached to the application with details to be submitted.


The Committee was addressed by the agent.  He referred to the comments raised by neighbouring properties regarding Section 106 agreements and confirmed that searches had revealed no such agreement.  He said that the scale of the proposal had been reduced by lowering the roof height reducing the property from 2 storey to 1 and a half and setting the home further into the slope reducing the scale of the development.  The proposed dwelling would be surrounded by extensive screening provided by the existing and proposed landscaping reducing any impact on the public domain.  He concluded that the area was characterised by large 2 storey properties on generous plots and that the proposed dwelling would be one of the most discreet in the area, screened from sight by its position and extensive grounds.


The Chairman advised that ward member Councillor Jenny Kenton also supported the views of her fellow ward member, Councillor Martin Wale.


Ward member, Councillor Martin Wale referred to the objections submitted by the Blackdown Hills AONB planning officer who was of the opinion that the proposal was not suitable for an AONB.  He said that although the Parish Meeting had not formally met recently, he had been contacted by a parish representative wishing to raise objections to the application.  He felt that the proposal was not in keeping with the landscape character of the area, and that the scale of the replacement would result in an unacceptable large increase in relation to the height and size of the original dwelling.  He concluded that the proposal was contrary to Policy HG8 and would have an impact on the Blackdown Hills AONB as stated by the comments of the Blackdown Hills AONB planning officer.


During the debate, members made the following comments:


·         There was no condition attached to the application for an electric charging point.

·         Dormer windows were not referenced within the Blackdown Hills Design Guide.

·         Support expressed for the comments raised by the ward member.


At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed and seconded to refuse the application contrary to the officer recommendation on the grounds of:


·         Contrary to Policy HG8 and EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan

·         Design, scale and massing would have an adverse impact on the Blackdown Hills AONB and contrary to Policy PD2 of the AONB Management Plan

·         Contrary to advice contained within the NPPF


On being put to the vote the proposal to refuse the application was unanimously carried.



That Area West Committee recommend to the Chief Executive that Planning Application 21/01562/FUL be REFUSED contrary to the officer recommendation for the following reason:


The height, scale, design and massing of the proposed dwelling and associated works would have an adverse impact on the landscape and scenic beauty of the Blackdown Hills AONB, contrary to policy PD2 (Planning and Development) of the AONB Management Plan 2019-2024, policies HG8 and EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan 2006-2028 and the advice contained within the NPPF.


(Voting: unanimous)




Supporting documents: