Agenda item

22/01448/FP Land At Turnpike Lane And Adjacent To 4 Manor Close, Turnpike Lane, Ickleford, Hertfordshire


Erection of five dwelling houses in association with a new access spur from the Lodge Court, on-site parking, landscaping (inclusive of new trees), formation of a pedestrian footpath and designated communal open space. Revised application following approvals of 20/00891/FP and 21/03464/S73 (Amended plans received 05.09.2022).


RESOLVED: That the application 22/01448/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager



Audio recording – 1:06:25


Anne McDonald presented the report and gave a verbal presentation, which included:


·         This is a full application for five detached houses

·         Members will remember a five house scheme was approved as an appeal and then amended to allow brief accommodation under a section 70 approval. This appraisal follows the layout of these permissions

·         The houses open space and visitor parking are all in the same locations

·         The houses in plots 1-4 have the same ridge height as approved under the section 70 approval and the house in plot 5 is lower

·         The side flank of the plot 5 is the same distance away from the neighbour as the scheme.

·         These houses have got larger footprints and are of a contemporary design

·         In numbers terms, the proposal represents an increase in the size of the footprints in comparison to the section 70 permission of 61% across all 5 plots. As most houses have increased in footprints. However there is no material change

·         They have good sized gardens and excess the minimum standards and have ample parking in excess of the parking SPD are all proposed

·         The increase in the footprint does not represent any harm or reason to refuse the scheme

·         The design of the houses is more contemporary than the approved schemes with large sections of glazing. There is no objection to this

·         The houses are set in from the road and the existing trees with screen these giving the development an attractive setting

·         It is recommended for conditional permission


There were no questions from Members.


The Chair invited Kate Sargent to speak against the application.


Kate Sargent thanked the Chair for the opportunity to address the Committee and gave presentation, including:


·         I am representing residents of Manor Close and Lodge Court.

·         There are many planning concerns associated with this development that have been repeatedly raised by a large number of local residents

·         There are concerns related to the additional traffic and pedestrian risk that it would generate

·         There are concerns of the ecological devastation of an area that is home to a wide variety of species.

·         There are concerns of its proximity to a conservation in the heritage area

·         There are concerns of the detrimental impact it will have on the parking in Lodge Court

·         This development remains outside of the Emerging Local Plan which has yet to be approved

·         There are concerns of the additional pressure on the villages sewerage system

·         There are concerns of the loss of privacy and light that the residents of Manor Close will be forced to accept

·         We will be raising the repeated failure of the District Council to appropriately recognise or address these concerns

·         An earlier iteration of this was approved on appeal by the planning inspector when it consisted of two 2 bed properties, two 3 bed properties and one 4 bed property. It was approved for the reason that it was believed to meet a local need for housing that constituted the special circumstances for building on the green belt. This is despite the development not being proposed in the Emerging Local Plan which only recommends a redesignation of the land to white land which is land without any specific proposal for allocation in a development plan where it is intended that existing uses shall remain undisturbed and unaltered

·         This development proposal now consists of three 5 bed and two 4 bed houses.

·         The results of the 2021 Ickleford housing needs assessment state that the most significant finding is the need for affordable home ownership.

·         Started prices for 4 bed detached houses in Hitchin are now £700,000 and prices for 4-5 bed houses in the local area stretch well over £1M. These are not affordable

·         The same assessment demonstrates that an appropriate response to the need would be to prioritise the supply of smaller to mid-sized dwelling of 1, 2 and 3 bed houses.

·         This has given rise to policy SD2 in the emerging Ickleford neighbourhood plan that states that on all developments of 3 or more bed dwelling including the allocating sites in the Emerging Local Plans, the sizes of dwellings should be mixed with at least 34% of smaller less expensive homes from 1-2 bedrooms to allow younger or older people to access appropriate housing. At least 50% should be 3-bedroom dwelling unless there is local up to date evidence that local dwellings are needed


There were no points of clarification from Members.


The Chair invited Ann McDonald to respond:


·         The Ickleford local plan isn’t a made plan and therefore holds no weight in decision making tonight

·         The section 73 was used in comparison of floor space and where additional bedrooms were already allowed.


The following Members took part in the debate:


·         Councillor Nigel Mason

·         Councillor Michael Muir

·         Councillor Tony Hunter

·         Councillor Tom Tyson


Points raised in the debate included:


·         In terms of need there is probably a greater need for 3 bed houses rather than 5 bed houses.

·         The argument of it being on the green belt has been taken away as we can see by the appeal decision, so we don’t have any grounds to refuse this on planning grounds

·         Even if we refused this based on the need for smaller housing it would go to appeal

·         The section 73 application of upsizing was approved by us


In response Anne McDonald advised:


·         The appeal was granted and following the appeal there was a second application where consent was granted to allow accommodation in the roofs and that is when the houses were upsized. The site has been sold and they have now come in with their own design. There is no policy reason to not allow additional bedrooms. The houses are larger but the numbers of bedrooms on the site isn’t significantly increasing.


Some Members expressed that if a Councillor calls in an item they should attend to give their reasoning. If they cannot attend then it should be taken off the agenda.


Councillor Tony Hunter proposed and Councillor Michael Muir seconded and, following a vote, it was:


RESOLVED: That the application 22/01448/FP be GRANTED planning permission subject to the reasons set out in the report of the Development and Conservation Manager


Supporting documents: