Land at rear of 44/46 Bedford Road (P181541) - Erection of 6 residential flats with associated landscaping
- Meeting of Local Review Body of Aberdeen City Council, Tuesday, 18th December, 2018 1.30 pm (Item 3.)
- View the background to item 3.
The LRB then considered a third request for a review of the decision taken by an appointed officer under the Council’s Scheme of Delegation to refuse the request for planning permission for the erection of 6 residential flats with associated landscaping at the land to the rear of 44/46 Bedford Road, Aberdeen, Planning Reference 181541.
The Chairperson advised that the LRB would be addressed by Ms Lucy Greene who would be acting as the Planning Adviser to the Body in the case under consideration.
The Chairperson again highlighted that although the Planning Adviser was employed by the planning authority, she had not been involved in any way with the consideration or determination of the application under review and was present to provide factual information and guidance to the LRB only. She emphasised that the officer would not be asked to express any view on the proposed application.
In relation to the application, the LRB had before it (1) a delegated report by Mr Nicholas Lawrence, Senior Planner; (2) the decision notice dated 1 November 2018; (3) links to the plans showing the proposal and planning notices referred to in the delegated report; (4) two letters of representation and a submission from the Roads Development Management Team; and (5) the application and Notice of Review submitted by the applicant along with an accompanying statement with further information relating to the application.
The LRB was then addressed by Ms Greene who advised that the submitted Notice of Review was found to be valid and submitted within the relevant timeframes.
Ms Greene explained that the application site comprised the garden / amenity areas to numbers 44/46 Bedford Road which extended to approximately 332 square metres in area. The site was bounded to the west by 44/46 Bedford Road, a two and a half storey end of terrace traditional granite building that formerly had a newsagent on the ground floor; the north by a brick boundary wall of approximately 1.2 metres in height which abutted Bedford Place; the east by numbers 55 and 57 Bedford Place; and the south by gardens to properties on Bedford Road and Erskine Street. The area was characterised by residential development where no one design form or period of construction was dominant, although granite and slate roofed buildings were prominent. The site fell within a residential area to which Policy H1 was attached.
In respect of planning history, Ms Greene highlighted that planning permission had been granted at the Local Review Body earlier in 2018 for the erection of four residential flats and associated landscaping, subject to a Section 75 agreement.
Ms Greene advised that permission was sought for the erection of six flats over three storeys, located on the southern side of Bedford Place, close to its junction with Bedford Road. The site was currently overgrown garden ground associated with 44/46 Bedford Road. Pedestrian access was taken off Bedford Road and via a gate off Bedford Road to allow access to the rear of the building, six cycle spaces and bin collection. A garden area was provided immediately to the west elevation of the proposed building.
Ms Greene outlined that the request sought the review of the decision of the appointed officer to refuse the application under delegated powers and the stated reasons for refusal were as follows:-
1. The proposed development by reason of the quantum of development, design, form, scale, mass and proximity to neighbouring properties and their amenity areas has not had due regard to delivering a high quality scheme with respect to its context and the proposed development will therefore harm the character and appearance of the area contrary to policies D1 and H1 of the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2017, together with national policy guidance within Scottish Planning Policy and Planning Advice Note 67.
2. The proposed development by reason of the quantum of development, design, form, scale, mass and proximity to the site boundary will be oppressive and harmful to the private amenity afforded to neighbouring dwellings, which in turn represents an overdevelopment of the buildings footprint contrary to polices D1 and H1 of the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2017, together with national policy guidance within Scottish Planning Policy and Planning Advice Note 67.
3. The no car approach adopted by the applicant will have an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring sites through increasing on-street parking pressures and the proposal is therefore in conflict with policies T2 and T3, together with the associated Supplementary Guidance (Transport and Accessibility) to the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2017.
In regard to consultees and objections, Ms Greene advised that 2 letters of representation had been received, and that the Roads Development Management Team had recommended refusal of the application as the on-street parking was finite and more flats would lead to more parking pressures in an already congested area.
In the Notice of Review supporting statement, the appellant had noted:-
· That they considered that the relevant planning history had not been recorded accurately, referring to the application P141644 and the decision of a willingness to approve, subject to agreement of a Section 75 which had been well-advanced when it had been decided not to conclude the S75 agreement when it was known that it was possible to achieve approval for mainstream flats on the site;
· It was their strong contention that the design of the application did not have an unacceptable impact on adjoining uses, as the windows overlooked the extreme end of what was a 30 metre long garden;
· That the consideration of overdevelopment was a matter of opinion as there was no test by which it could be determined, and with the approval by the LRB of the previous application 180555, this established a two and a half storey building to the street frontage, and given the current application and footprint of the proposals was identical, it could not be considered that there would be an impact on the character and appearance of the area;
· That the proposed application would satisfy many of the statements in the Planning Advice Note 67 which had been referenced in the reasons for refusal; and
· That it was a judgement call as to whether two additional flats would result in an adverse impact on the surrounding streets, as the appellant noted that the Roads Development Management Team had no objection to the previous application for four flats, and further noted that it was very likely that the owners or occupiers of the flats would be students or persons associated with the University of Aberdeen. The appellant did however note that the flats could be occupied by others, but added that having a car free development would meet the aspirations of the Supplementary Guidance – Transport and Accessibility, as anyone owning or residing in one of the flats would be clear that there was no on-site parking and the site was well placed for access to public transport and amenities.
The Chairperson and Councillors Cameron and Donnelly all indicated in turn that they each had enough information before them and therefore agreed that a site visit was not required and that the review under consideration should be determined without further procedure.
Ms Greene outlined the relevant policy considerations, making particular reference to the following in the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2017:-
- H1 – Residential Areas: Householder Development
- D1 – Quality Placemaking by Design;
- T2 – Managing the Transport Impact of Development
- T3 – Sustainable and Active Travel.
In terms of material considerations, Ms Greene advised that in determining the appeal, Members should take into consideration any material considerations they feel are relevant to the application that would point to either overturning the original decision or dismissing the review.
The Local Review Body then asked questions of Ms Greene in regard to the application.
Following discussion, Members agreed by a majority of two to one that the proposal was acceptable and therefore the Local Review Body’s decision was to overturn the decision of the appointed officer and approve the application, subject to the conclusion of a Section 75 agreement in respect of Car Club contributions.
In coming to a decision, Councillor Donnelly stated that the site had previously been given permission for a development of the same size of footprint, and that he did not feel that two additional flats would have an impact. The Chairperson stated that she did not consider the size of the building and the gable end to have an impact on residential amenity, and the new style and placement of windows proposed would correlate to windows in nearby properties. She noted that the applicant had made significant changes to correlate with the existing building fronts and had gone some way in terms of Policy D1 to try to accord with existing designs, therefore she did not feel that the application was at odds with Policy H1. In terms of parking and Policy T3, the Chairperson noted that the site was well-connected to cycle and bus routes, however suggested that the application be approved subject to the conclusion of a Section 75 agreement in respect of Car Club contributions.
Councillor Cameron supported the appointed officer’s decision to refuse the application, as he considered that the proposed development would have an adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area, due to the mass of the proposal, particularly in terms of the gable end of the property; that the number of windows to the rear of the property would have an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring dwellings; and that with six flats, there was the potential for between 8 and 12 parking passes to be required in the controlled parking area, which would be an unacceptable pressure in terms of on-street parking.
In coming to their decision, the Local Review Body had regard to the provisions of the development plan as required by Sections 25 and 37 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) and other material consideration in so far as these were pertinent to the determination of the application.
More specifically, the reasons on which the Local Review Body based the decision were as follows:-
The proposal would not harm the character and appearance of the area and therefore was not contrary to policies D1 and H1 of the Aberdeen Local Development Plan 2017, nor the national policy guidance within Scottish Planning Policy and Planning Advice Note 67; that the proposed development would not be oppressive and harmful to the private amenity afforded to neighbouring dwellings and did not represent an overdevelopment of the building’s footprint, and was therefore not contrary to policies D1 and H1; and that the proposal was not in conflict with policies T2 and T3, nor the associated Supplementary Guidance (Transport and Accessibility).
- COUNCILLOR MARIE BOULTON, Chairperson
- Report of Handling, item 3. PDF 210 KB
- Application Form, item 3. PDF 2 MB
- Decision Notice, item 3. PDF 103 KB
- Consultation - Roads, item 3. PDF 105 KB
- Letter of Rep - Mr G Duffus, item 3. PDF 2 KB
- Letter of Rep - Mr J Thomson, item 3. PDF 2 KB