Christmas Lights

Village News


Via via OCR

Roy Curnow Planning Ref. No. 14/29
Appeal by Mrs Amos
14 Steamers Hill, Angarrck, Hayle, Cornwall


1. Comments on the Council’s Statement of Case

1.1 Mr and Mrs Amos wish to make the following comments, in response to the
statement that has been submitted by the Council to support its reason for
refusal. These comments should be read in conjunction with those that they have
made in their statement, where their case has been set out clearly. Should a
particular point made by the Council not be challenged here this should not be
read as agreement with it, and reference to their statement should be made at all
times. Where reference is made to specific paragraphs from the Council’s
statement, these are underlined.

1.2 The starting point for these comments is the reference to the Council’s
agreement, in paragraph 5.4, that it has no objection to the principle of the
development. The development that was proposed was, it should be recalled, the
conversion and extension to detached garage building to create a self-contained
dwelling with on-site parking. Therefore, it is agreed that the conversion and
extension of the building to form a dwelling is not the issue – it is simply the
manner in which it this would be carried out. This is an important matter, as it is
argued that this scheme – which involved considerable thought and consideration
by the Amos’s and their draftsman – represents an eminently acceptable way of
developing the land; a form of development that is, otherwise, acceptable.

1.3 The Council makes much of the point made by Mr and Mrs Amos, in paragraph
3.3 of their statement, regarding the lack of a five-year supply of housing land,
(paragraphs 5.5-5.9). The important thing for the Inspector to note is that the
Council does not claim to have such a supply; therefore, the proposal has to be
adjudged against the presumption in favour of sustainable development. This
was precisely the point that they were making in their paragraph 3.9. Mr and Mrs
Amos are not reliant upon the argument that the Council is unable to ensure that
there is sufficient housing land available, as they believe that their proposal is
entirely appropriate to the site; however, this lack of housing supply is a material
consideration that can only weigh in favour of their case.

1.4 In paragraph 5.10, the Council accepts that the provision of a dwelling on the site
is not a point of contention. It claims that the dwelling that is proposed is,
somehow, substandard. The use of ‘somehow’ is deliberate, as the Council is
singularly unable to point to any standard against which this would be judged.
This comes as no surprise as, throughout the processing of their applications, the
Council was unable or unwilling to demonstrate or articulate to Mr and Amos just
what standards it refers to – despite a number of requests for this.

1.5 The Council agrees, in paragraph 5.11, that there are a variety of house and plot
layouts in the village. There is no single overriding form of development against
which proposals for residential development should be assessed. The Inspector
will be able to see, when visiting the site, that there is a great variety of
development across the village and it is within this varying scene that the new
dwelling would be seen. Using the same yardstick as is used by the Council to
explain the existing form of development in the village, this scheme would result
in a dwelling of a design “that was prevailing at the time of construction” – that is
to say, it would merely be seen as another type of house in a village with a great
deal of variety in its built form. Even then, this is not a dwelling that would attract
a great deal of comment from members of the public; its presence would be
largely unremarkable in its setting.

1.6 It is submitted that the scheme would be completely in accordance with the
“existing pattern of development”, (paragraph 5.10), and the “grain” of
development in the village. The pattern of development in the village, and its
grain, is exemplified by the development on Steamers Hill. This, along with
Hatch’s Hill to the west, forms the main road through the village. Development
runs along this thoroughfare throughout the village, largely – though not
exclusively, facing the road. A number of roads and lanes run at 90 degrees to
this road throughout the village and all of these have residential development
along them. This is the pattern and grain of development in the village.

1.7 What is proposed here is the conversion an extension of an existing building.
Given that the Council expresses no objection to the principle of this
development, in which the siting of the building is, of course, fixed, it would be
impossible to find that the proposed layout of the site would be harmful.

1.8 The Council uses the word “traditional” in paragraph 5.12 but does not define
what it means by this. Mr and Mrs Amos would argue that there is a great deal of
variety in the form of development in the village. There are what might be
described as being vernacular two-storey dwellings, but this is by no means the
only form of development in the village; in fact they would submit that given the
degree of twentieth century housing – including along Back Lane and in
Carwinnard Close opposite the site - they are in the minority.

1.9 In any event, just because a development might take a different form, this does
not mean that it causes harm. In paragraph 5.15, the Council suggests that harm
would arise from the proposed dwelling’s location close to the boundary with the
neighbouring dwelling. As has been said on a number of occasions, given that
this is a scheme for the conversion of a building, and this is acceptable in
principle, it is impossible to understand how this would be harmful.

1.10 The public perception of the resultant development would be that this was simply
another form of dwelling in a village of mixed character. The main public vantage
point is Steamers Hill, (it would also, of course, be seen from Back Lane, but this
cul-de-sac is used by far fewer people); from the hill the viewer would clearly see
the amenity space/parking area in front of the dwelling and this would, rather,
give the development a spacious air. One would not see this as a cramped form
of development.

1.11 The reference to the height of the building, paragraph 5.17, belies the paucity of
the Council’s case. The increase in height would be minimal and would create a
dwelling that would have first floor accommodation set well into its roofspace;
there is absolutely nothing unusual about this form of development and there are
a number of properties of this form in the village. What would be seen from public
vantage points - as is shown in Drawing 004 B – is a small dwelling that would
not be overly-high and would sit very comfortably in this location.

2 Conclusions
2.1 The Council’s decision is confused and flawed. On the one hand, for example, it
agrees that the principle of the conversion of the dwelling is acceptable but then
goes onto criticise the siting of the dwelling – given that the scheme is for the
conversion of a dwelling, it could be sited nowhere else.

2.2 Its case lacks conviction. It fails to identify and substantiate the claimed harm that
it claims would materialise; this, it is submitted, is because there would be no
harm. It is no reflection on the author of the statement, who is merely trying to
make a case that needlessly arose as a result of the intervention of a manager
who did not visit the site.

2.3 In the light of the above, and – especially - Mr and Mrs Amos’s Statement of
Case, it is again respectfully requested that the appeal is allowed.

Roy Curnow Planning, January 2015

Appeal by Mrs Amos
14 Steamers Hill, Angarrck, Hayle, Cornwall