Update – 4 January 2018
The application, ref. No. 17/04981/FULL1, for a proposed development on the land of existing garages to the rear of 10 Highland Road and part of the rear garden of 8 Highland Road, including demolition of garages and erection of five terrace houses, with associated parking and refuse store at 8 Highland Road, Bromley BR1 4AD, has been refused for the following reasons:
- The proposed development constitutes an undesirable form of backland development, out of character and scale with adjoining development, detrimental to the existing level of amenity which the occupants of neighbouring properties might reasonably expect to be able to continue to enjoy, whilst leading to an unacceptable loss of amenity space for the neighbouring property at No. 8 Highland Road.
- The proposal constitutes a cramped overdevelopment of the site, by way of building coverage, which if permitted would establish an undesirable pattern for similar backland development in the area, resulting in a retrograde lowering of the standards to which the area is at present developed.
- The development of this site with 5 terrace houses would be detrimental to the privacy, prospect and visual amenities of the occupiers of adjacent residential properties.
- In the absence of sufficient information to demonstrate that vehicles can manoeuvre safely and efficiently within the site layout and in and out of the site, the proposal would be prejudicial to the free flow of traffic conditions and general safety in the highway.
- The development would prejudice the retention and well-being of a number of trees which are protected by a Tree Preservation Order.
In response to the main points made in the letters of objection, YB Architects had said:
Daylighting / sunlighting obstruction
It was stated previously that the existing trees are the real daylighting obstruction to the houses at the northern end of the site.
Also, the proposed houses rear elevation is only 5.1m high, which is about 2.8m higher than the existing garages. The houses are also set back further from the northern boundary than the existing garages. So the daylighting / sunlighting obstruction will be minimal and within acceptable limits.
Privacy / overlooking
The proposed houses openings mainly south facing or face into the courtyards at the front. To the rear there are only windows and doors on the ground floor, and no windows on the upper floor north facing elevation, thus avoiding any overlooking of properties on Grasmere Road.
Traffic / Parking
The site, although currently disused, has 9 garages, which implies at least 9 cars. The proposal allows for only 6 car parking spaces and provides space for cycle parking. Refer to submitted transport report.
The access road and parking spaces will be paved with granite setts defining a semi-private space and encouraging low speed. Other traffic calming measures such as road humps could be added.
The disabled parking space will be enlarged to 3.6m.
Backland Development (policies BE1 and H7)
Only around 30% of the land at the rear of No 8 Highland Road is proposed to be built on; the remaining will be kept as a landscaped area and communal garden for the residents.
The proposed development is small scale and low density backland is currently unused and non-maintained.
The houses are proposed to built [sic] up to the boundaries, as this a small development. The end houses flank walls will still be at least 1.5m from existing adjoining houses flank walls.
The proposed tree removals are only for old drying trees, or trees with limited life. The submitted tree survey recommends impact mitigating measures to protect the existing trees during and after construction.
All hard landscaping including access road and parking spaces will be paved with permeable paving allowing water to be absorbed by the ground.
Risk of subsidence to neighbouring houses
This is a technical matter and will be addressed at design detailing stage. The initial structural engineers’ recommendations are to use piled foundations which would protect the tree roots as well as stabilize the ground.
Fire risk, fire engine access
In order to mitigate this aspect it is proposed to fit the houses with sprinklers.
Refer to submitted transport report.
Currently flats to No 10 place their bins (exposed separate small bins) along the lane. The proposal suggests grouping the refuse from these flats and the proposed development into a new closed and covered bin store. This bin store will be located on the new land (currently behind the fence) acquired from the side of No 10 Highland Road. This site will be within 18m from Highland Road which is the recommended maximum distance for bin location from the road.
Letter to neighbours
A letter describing the proposed project has been sent to neighbours, including the flats at No 10 Highland Road. This was done before the submission of the planning application.
8 Highland Road, Bromley BR1 4AD – 16 November 2017
Isometric view towards north west
The Design and Access Statement shows that the proposal is as follows:
- This project is to re-develop the site with the insertion of 5 two-storey terraced houses. The existing garages will be removed and the new houses built over the garages site and part of the rear garden of No 10 Highland Road – a site area of approximately 950 m2.
- The houses will be L shape with a front courtyard and rear garden. They each will have a green roof flat at the front and sloping to the rear.
- The houses will be organized with an open plan dining/lounge and kitchen on the ground floor and two bedrooms and bathroom on the upper floor.
- The houses will be built to high environmental standards, with a timber frame structure, timber boarding on the façades at first floor level and brick walls at ground floor level.
- All new houses to be built to meet the London Plan and will aim to achieve Lifetime homes standards. The gross internal floor area of each house will be around 84 m2 with courtyard and rear garden with a total area varying between 35 and 50 m2.
Conclusions are stated as follows:
- This project makes use of a disused and neglected site, and aims to turn it into residential mews providing a quality living environment.
- The proposal is the result of careful consideration of the existing environment and neighbouring properties.
- The proposed houses are small scale but will provide comfortable accommodation with ample private garden and amenity space.