This is my copy of the planning statement taken directly from the LBH papers.

You can read these papers here.

Please consult the papers directly if you intend to quote from them.

Refusal of planning permission for the erection
of 14 penthouses made on 6th March 2001

Title page
1.0 Site 6.0 Consultations
2.0 Proposal 7.0 Policy
3.0 Site Description 8.0 Policy Issues
4.0 History 9.0 Equal Opportunities
5.0 Details 10.0 Recommend

(See also 4th July 2001 for details about the appeal to this decision.)


1.0 SITE
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3.1 1930’s estate comprising blocks of flats. There are two entrances to the estate, one via Oxford Road South and the other via Regent Street/Brooks Road. The estate includes purpose-built areas devoted to garages and amenity space. The flats vary from 4 to 6 storeys high and have flat roofs. The estate contains 3 main blocks spread around the periphery of the site, which is triangular in shape. Each block contains 4-6 groups of flats.
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4.0 History
4.1 In February 1999 it was resolved to approve, subject to a legal agreement, the demolition of 43 former garages, erection of 12 —2-bedroomed flats and 15 car parking spaces, and replacement parking for 43 cars on 3 sites. The scheme has completed and is occupied.
4.2 In July 2000 an application for a similar development was reported to the Sustainable Development Committee but the applicants withdrew the scheme on the afternoon before the meeting. The scheme was recommended for refusal on the following grounds:

1. The proposal will result in unacceptable loss of amenity space adjoining two defined “green corridors”, with resulting loss of amenity to residents of the estate and loss of wildlife habitat contrary to policies ENV. 1.1 and ENV.5.8 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan.
2. The proposal will result in an overdevelopment of the site which will result in obtrusiveness, overlooking, loss of daylight and sunlight to resident3 of the estate and occupiers of surrounding residential properties. This will be contrary to policies ENV.1.1, H.1.2 and H.3.4 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan.
3. The proposed access roads and car parking will result in undue noise and disturbance to the occupiers of the estate, contrary to Policies ENV. 1.1 and H. 1.2 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan.
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5.1 Existing Development

292 flats (116 @ 2 hab rooms, 160 @ 3 hab rooms, 16 @ 16 hab rooms).

Site Area: 2.8ha/7.0 acres

Density: 125 habitable rooms/acre (312 hrph)

Proposed Development

14 units equivalent to 7 hab rooms/unit

Density following development: 139 habitable rooms/acre (347 hrph)

Existing Off-street Parking: 104

Proposed Parking following Development: 118
5.2 The planning application would replace the existing flat roofs on the 3 main blocks by building an additional mansard-style flat roof on each block. The existing flats, excluding the tops of the lift shafts (which from prominent features of the existing buildings) vary from 11 .6m (38’) to 16.8m (55’) (4 storey to 6 storeys). The proposals would result in an increase in this roof-height by some 2. 13m (7’), and increase of a similar degree to the lift shaft features etc. There would be one new flat above each individual group of flats comprising the blocks (14 in total). The flats would be 3-bedroomed units.
5.3 The car parks at the northern end of the site would be extended to accommodate an additional 14 spaces.
5.4 The applicants have submitted a “Sustainable Assessment” report from a firm of consulting engineers. This refers to PPG13, National Travel Survey and site visit assessment. It concludes that the site is well located in terms of proximity to local facilities and transport choices and is a good site for residential development. It concludes that what it styles as “excess parking capacity” would be out of step with Government policy on transport and therefore the recommended parking standard for the new development should be 14 parking spaces rather than the UDP Review standard.
5.5 The applicants have submitted a landscape studies report. These propose landscape and other improvements within the estate as follows:

  1. Open views to allow natural surveillance, lighting, securing rear gardens, design of footpath etc.
  2. Enclosing the rear gardens with walls and railings. New tarmac/dressed gravel paths, cycle parking areas, new hedges and shrub planting.
  3. New tree planting.
  4. Allowance for management and maintenance.
  5. Screening to car parks.

Detailed landscaping plans, including planting, planting densities and schedules have been submitted.
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6.1 Residents of Chiswick Village and surrounding streets (450) have been consulted, the scheme has been advertised and a site notice posted.
6.2 There have been 211 letters in response, consisting of 160 letters of objection from residents of Chiswick Village who support the “Chiswick Village Working Party” and 51 other letters.
6.3 There are 208 objection letters and 3 letters of support, in total.
6.4 The letters of support are from Chiswick Village Residents Ltd and two owners of flats in Chiswick Village.
6.5 The Chiswick Village Working Party letters object on grounds of

  • loss of privacy, overlooking and encroachment;
  • obtrusiveness, loss of light, loss of sunlight;
  • scheme detracts from the architectural character of Chiswick Village;
  • inadequate information concerning new lifts, shaft extensions, water tanks, water supplies, sewerage, supports, chimneys etc;
  • noise and disruption from building works;
  • inadequate parking;
  • landscaping and other works would be too expensive;
  • loss of means of escape;
  • contrary, to UDP;
  • requires consent of shareholders of Chiswick Village Residents Ltd.
6.6 All the above letters are from residents of Chiswick Village. Of the other letters (51), 16 are from Chiswick Village, 12 from Oxford Gardens, 2 from Oxford Road South, 2 from Wolesley Gardens and 2 from Gordon Road. 9 of the residents from Chiswick Village who wrote individual letters have also returned Chiswick Village W.P. letters.
6.7 The objections of the 48 other letters are summarised as:

Loss of light (29)
Obtrusiveness (22)
Noise and disturbance of building works (22)
Overlooking/loss of privacy (20)
Parking problems (20)
Traffic problems (19)
Overdevelopment or density too high (16)
Noise and disturbance (13)
Loss of sunlight (13)
Reflected noise (from trains/aircraft) (13)
Out of character (9)
Loss of TV signals (7)
Means of escape problem (4)
Unnecessary cost to occupiers (3)
Loss of security (3)
Light pollution (3)
Structural problems (2)
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7.1 UDP

ENV 1.1 (All New Development)
ENV.5.8 (Green Corridors)
H. 1.2 (Housing Standards)
H.2.4(Residential Density)
T.2.5(Parking and Servicing)
H.4.1(Affordable Housing)
IMP 3.1 (Planning Obligations)
Car Parking Standards
7.2 UDP Review
ENV-.N. 1.13 (Protection of Open Space)
ENV-B. 1.1 (New Development)
H. 1.1 (Location of New Housing)
H.2.1(Affordable Housing)
H.4.1(Housing Standards)
H.4.2(Residential Density)
IMP.6. 1 (Planning Obligations)
Car Parking Standards
7.3 Government Advice

PPG1 (General parameters on development)
PPG3 (Housing)
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8.1 The planning issues relating to this application are:

(a) whether the new development will detract from the architectural character and amenities of Chiswick Village.
(b) whether there would be increased noise and disturbance which would detract from the residential amenities of the estate.
(c) whether the new access road system and parking area will contribute to parking traffic problems and disturbance to residents on the estate.
(d) whether the impact of the new buildings will be harmful to local residential amenity
(e) whether there will be an imbalance in the distribution of car parking on the estate.
(f) whether the proposal leads to undue loss of amenity space on the estate.
8.2 Government advice in PPG3 encourages a sustainable approach to housing development. It places emphasis in encouraging increasing efficiency in use of land for housing, with the suggestion that higher density housing may be appropriate especially in those town centre areas where public transport is good and car parking can be controlled.’ The site is a reasonably. short walk from Gunnersbury Station, but is not in a town centre location.
8.3 The existing estate has a high density already, at 312 hrph (125 habitable rooms per acre). This is already beyond the maximum density recommended in the UDP outside town centres as described in UDP Review Policy H.4.2. The density is higher than most of the surrounding area.
8.4 Although the plans show 3-bedroomed flats, the size of the flats is exceptionally large, and allowing for sub-division, are equivalent to 7 habitable rooms each.
8.5 Allowing for density based on 7 habitable rooms per flat, current density will rise to 347hrph (139 habitable rooms per acre) if the development is permitted.
8.6 The high density is reflected in the gross lack of car parking on the estate. The scheme, if approved, will result in loss of open amenity space to provide additional car parking, which will be less than recommended UDP car parking standards. It is likely, therefore, that existing problems relating to car parking will be exacerbated.
8.7 Architectural Character

Some residents have referred to the architectural character of Chiswick Village. Whilst Chiswick Village has a distinct entity, the buildings are not listed nor are they on the Council’s list of local buildings of historic interest. Along with other parts of the Borough, Chiswick Village was investigated in 1998 for possible inclusion as a Conservation Area, but it was concluded that the estate was not of sufficient quality to be proposed as a possible Conservation Area. It is therefore concluded that the extensions proposed to the building will not, in themselves, be harmful to the architectural character of Chiswick Village provided a good design is maintained. The design and external materials proposed appear to be acceptable in appearance.
8.8 Amenity Space of Chiswick Village

Chiswick Village has varied areas of amenity space. Some is well maintained and of high quality but other amenity space appears to be neglected and some has reverted to scrub. Chiswick Village has a parking problem, as there are fewer parking spaces than the demand for off-street parking from the occupiers of the 292 residential units. Most of the car parking takes place on the access roads to ;he estate although there are other car parks. A balance needs to be maintained between car parking and amenity space. This is discussed further under 8.17.
8.9 Noise and Disturbance

8.10 A separate consideration is noise and disturbance during the building works. This would undoubtedly be greater than normal for residents of Chiswick Village, as the construction work would be mostly confined to the roof spaces. A Building Regulations application would be required to ensure that the structure of the building is capable of taking the increased weight of the roofs, means of escape etc. It is considered that it would not be appropriate to refuse planning permission on the grounds of noise and disturbance during the building works. The disturbance could be limited by conditions, e.g a restriction on hours of construction.
8.11 It is not considered that noise and disturbance from the completed development will be significant.
8.12 Some residents are concerned that the development may reflect sound and cause additional noise problems. However, it is possible to construct a barrier which will absorb sound rather than reflect it. The degree of reflection of sound from the new roof would be relatively slight, as it is furthest away from the source of sound i.e the railway.
8.13 The New Access Road System
8.14 It is considered that this will contribute to noise and disturbance to residents of the estate for the reasons given in 8.5.
8.15 Impact of the new buildings on Local Residential Amenity
8.16 Many of the residents who have responded object on the grounds of obtrusiveness, overlooking and loss of light. The new buildings will increase the height of the flats blocks by about 2.1 m (7’O”). The flats are already prominent when viewed from surrounding houses and gardens, particularly properties such as Oxford Gardens (which have very short gardens), and Whitehall Gardens, which also have short gardens but are separated from Chiswick Village by the railway. It is considered that the new building will increase the degree of obtrusiveness experienced by occupiers of these properties In addition, many properties in Chiswick Village have balconies and windows with views of the roof line of Chiswick Village. The degree of obtrusiveness and overlooking to these flats will also increase. There will also be loss of light and sunlight to a degree to some of these properties, although it is questionable whether this effect will be so great as to warrant refusal of planning permission.
8.17 Loss of Amenity Space
8.18 The proposal will result in the loss of amenity space on the site and its replacement by car parking. The amount of open space lost would be much less than the previous scheme. However, it is considered that on a high density estate such of this even the loss of a relatively small open space would be unfortunate and create undue loss of amenity for residents.
8.19 Traffic and Parking
8.20 The submitted traffic consultants report has little to say on the existing high density development and the traffic and parking problems existing on the estate as a whole and how they could be remedied.
8.21 The site is some 600m/660yds from the designated Chiswick Town Centre and the area is relatively poor in public transport compared with Chiswick Town Centre. There is no current proposal to provide a CPZ in Chiswick Village or the immediate area and such an area is not likely to be considered until the outcome of the consultation on the West Chiswick CPZ has become known and (if approved) is implemented. The UDP Review allows for a lower provision where public transport accessibility is high, car ownership levels are proven to be low, and the site is, or will be within a controlled parking zone. It is not considered that the Traffic Consultant’s report justifies the recommended reduction in car parking standard.
8.22 Provision of further parking will result in the loss of valuable amenity space, resulting in further loss of amenity.
8.23 For the above reasons it is considered that the scheme is an overdevelopment which will result in loss of amenity space, noise and disturbance to existing residents, and obtrusiveness and overlooking of residential properties on the estate and surrounding residential properties.
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9.1 None.
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10.1 Reasons

1) The proposed development will result in an overdevelopment of the site which will result in obtrusiveness, overlooking, loss of daylight and sunlight to residents of the estate and occupiers of surrounding residential properties This will be contrary to policies ENV. 1.1, H.1.2 and H.3.4 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan and policies ENV-B. 1.1, H.4. 1 and H.6.4 of the Council’s UDP Review.
2) The proposed development will result in the loss of open space which contributes to the amenity of Chiswick Village. This would be contrary to policy ENV.4. 1 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan and Policy ENV-N. 1.13 of the Council’s UDP Review.
3) Adequate parking is not available in accordance with the standards laid down by the Local Planning Authority and the resulting conditions on the relevant sections of the local highways would be detrimental to the free flow of traffic and conditions of general safety contrary to policies T.2.3 and T.2.5 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan and policies T.4.3 and T. 1.4 of the Council’s Unitary Development Plan Review.

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See also 4th July 2001 for details about the appeal to this decision.

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