RU.23/0663 - 26 Katherine Close, Addlestone, KT15 1NX


Proposal: Retrospective application to Vary Condition 2 (Approved Plans) of RU.21/0514 (Proposed rear dormer on roof extension with rooflights on front slope and internal alterations) to increase the dimensions of the rear dormer to create a firstfloor rear extension.


Several committee members expressed frustration at the retrospective nature of the planning application, along with the bulk of the dormer, which had been built some half a metre each side beyond what had previously been granted by planning committee and led to concerns around size, bulk, and not being in-keeping with the character of the area.


Whilst concern also existed about the prospect of the applicant turning the property into an HMO and the impact this would have on the community, planning officers advised that a six person HMO conversion was allowed without the need for planning permission, and anything above that would be judged on its own merits upon receipt of an application.


A committee member felt that the applicant being given four months to erect a fence In lieu of one of the windows not adhering to a previous planning condition of requiring to be obscure glazed and fixed shut to prevent overlooking was unduly lenient, however the Head of Planning advised that four months was a realistic timeframe and granting planning permission would afford an enforceable mechanism to provide a fence.


Building work remained ongoing inside the property, which was not currently habitable, nevertheless the committee agreed to amend the condition to state that the fence should be in place within four months of the date of the decision, or from the point at which the property is occupied, whichever is sooner.  In the event of the application being approved the Development Manager would follow up with the applicant to clarify the end point of the fence, as although it was required along the entire length of the property, overlooking was not a factor at the front of the property.


The Head of Planning stressed the importance of identifying harm and giving due regard to the fallback position in the event that the application was rejected, as this would instigate the need for enforcement action, requiring the Council to identify and explain the harm. Little or no harm would provide a weak enforcement case and the very real possibility of the rejection being overturned on appeal.


Caution was also expressed by several members around rejection of the application, as a successful appeal could lead to the Council losing control of the planning conditions.


A ward councillor acknowledged the disruption that the ongoing work had placed on neighbours and the local area as a whole, in particular the flanked wall causing overbearing on a neighbouring property.


Furthermore, in order to be consistent with previous planning applications in the location, committee asked for an amendment to planning condition two to fully reference policy EE1 and state that obscured glazing (at Pilkington Glass Level 4 or equivalent) and any part of the windows that are less than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which they are installed shall be non-opening and fixed shut. The windows shall be permanently retained in that condition thereafter.


Addressing concerns from the committee, the Development Manager advised that approval of retrospective planning applications was by no means a foregone conclusion, and whilst they were judged on their own merits, several enforcement notices had been served on other retrospective applications.


            Resolved that –


            The HoP was authorised to grant planning permission subject to:

i)               Planning conditions 1-2.

ii)             Addendum notes

iii)            Amended planning condition three to state that a fence shall be constructed within four months of the date or the decision notice or at first occupancy, whichever occurs first.

iv)            Amended planning condition two to fully reference policy EE1 around the obscured glazing.


Natalie Noble, an objector, and Hassan Akhtar, the applicant, both addressed the committee on this application.

Supporting documents: