18 December 2007
Planning Approval

Following the council insisting that an unauthorised building be demolished on the Allcrest site at the junction of The Street and Dukes Lane, planning was submitted for four new houses on the same site.  Again this raised a number of local objections but despite these, planning was officially granted today.  These four new houses will replace Allcrest, currently being used as Barhale's Site Office.

The Go-Ahead was officially given after a firm recommendation by the planning officer whose report is reproduced here:

"The site is located within the settlement limit for Caston and as such the principle of new residential development is acceptable in policy terms.

In terms of the impact upon the Conservation Area, the 2 dwellings positioned adjacent to the carriageway have been designed and positioned so as to replicate the pair of dwellings which were previously located on the site frontage (a photograph of this is submitted as part of the Design and Access Statement). They represent a strong feature in the streetscene which is seen as an improvement on the existing open frontage which lacks any strong presence in the streetscene. The detailing has been amended to meet with the requirements of the Historic Buildings Officer and it is considered appropriate for the Conservation Area. The 2 plots to the rear of the site have raised concerns from the Historic Buildings Officer given their scale, mass and design. However, these plots are not prominent in the streetscene as they are largely screened by the proposed dwellings on the front part of the site. Their design is different to those on the frontage, however, they are considered to relate adequately to those proposed on Plots 1 & 4 in terms of design, scale, height, mass, external materials and arrangement of fenestration. On balance, it is considered that the scheme as a whole will represent an improvement on the existing dwelling which lacks any architectural merit and makes no significant contribution to the Conservation Area.

Adequate private amenity space accompanies each plot and off-road parking and turning is also provided.  The Highways Authority have confirmed that, following the inclusion of a 2m wide footpath at the front of the site, they have no objections to the proposal on highway safety grounds subject to the imposition of a number of planning conditions.

The position of the openings within the proposed dwellings coupled with the distance between them and the existing surrounding dwellings means that adequate levels of privacy can be retained. Furthermore, the degree of separation between the existing and proposed means that neither light nor outlook will be significantly compromised.

The site is within Flood Zone 3 (high risk) and as such a Flood Risk Assessment is required. This has been submitted and the Environment Agency have confirmed that it has adequately addressed the issues relating to flood risk and as such they have no objections subject to conditions.

In conclusion, it is considered that the proposal meets with relevant policy requirements and as such the application is recommended for approval."

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