Application Details

Reference 19/02216/H
Address 251A Gloucester Road Bishopston Bristol BS7 8NX  
Street View
Gloucester Road Story
Proposal Rear orangery extension and associated garden landscaping.
Validated 09-05-19
Type Full Planning (Householders)
Status Decided
Neighbour Consultation Expiry 05-06-19
Determination Deadline 04-07-19
Decision GRANTED subject to condition(s)
Decision Issued 19-07-19
BCC Planning Portal Application
Public Comments Supporters: 0 Objectors: 1    Total: 1
No. of Page Views 9

TBS response:

Public Comments

Mr Greg Sayers 249A GLOUCESTER ROAD BRISTOL   OBJECT

As immediate neighbours of 251a we need to object to this proposal on the followinggrounds:

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1. Loss of light-----------------------------------

The proposed extension will affect the direct light received via the window in our rear kitchen doorand a light well that sits directly in front of this. (This light well is responsible for providing light toour children's bedroom.)

Furthermore it will have an adverse affect on the predominantly ambient light received via thestudy and bathroom windows down the side of our property. (The only additional useful light thatour property receives at all is via bay windows at its front.)

Pre-application advice provided by the local authority states (in the application form) that "Theproposed extension would likely cross the 45 degree rule and could lead to a loss of light and asense of enclosure. The submission should be able to demonstrate that the impact on neighboursis acceptable such as incorporating shadow studies."

Although the proposal's documentation does include shadow studies, the results of these aremisleading for the following reasons:

* The studies focus on only two days of the year* The studies focus on only three times of the day

* The studies do not provide a 3-dimensional analysis of light received via our windows andinstead show merely the footprint of any shadow on the ground

Our kitchen window (and the light well) currently receive an abundance of direct light in themornings. (The precise timing of which varies seasonally.) I have photographs that demonstratethis and that demonstrate light falling on the ground in apparent disagreement with the shadowstudies. I'd be happy to provide these if necessary.

It is this direct morning light that the proposed extension will rob us of. Furthermore the light wellbenefits from ambient light as well as direct light and our children's bedroom will suffer if this isreduced.

Whilst the proposed extension "would likely cross the 45 degree rule" with regards to all of our rearwindows, it will definitely cross the 45 degree rule (by a substantial margin) with regards to ourlight well. (The extensive documentation associated with this planning application makes nomention of the light well but it is visible to the right of Figure 6 in the Design Statement.)

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2. Loss of visual amenity-----------------------------------

Our property has three windows that run down the length of its rear. Currently these look on to thepleasant, airy outdoor space that both properties benefit from. There is a low Victorian brick wallseparating our properties and foliage, including mature rose bushes, on both sides of this low walladd to this outside area's lovely nature.

If this proposal were to go ahead then the low Victorian brick boundary wall would beoverwhelmed by a new, much higher, brick wall belonging to the extension. The height of this newwall isn't made clear from the planning documents but it looks to be overbearing.

I work from home and two of the three rear windows belong to my study. These windows wouldface directly on to the extension's wall rather than the open, airy, leafy space both propertiescurrently enjoy.

Access to our rear garden is via a pleasant path between my study windows and the low Victorianboundary wall. If the proposal were to go ahead, garden access would feel like walking down adark, high brick-walled alley.

Indeed, the pre-application advice picked up on this. Quoting again: "The proposed extensionwould likely cross the 45 degree rule and could lead to a loss of light and a sense of enclosure.The submission should be able to demonstrate that the impact on neighbours is acceptable..."

No attempts have been made to reduce the imposing enclosure effect that this extension will placeon the approach to our rear garden. No attempts have been made to preserve the visual amenitycurrently enjoyed from our rear windows and that currently afforded to our garden approach.

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3. Clarity over the height of the proposed extension's wall----------------------------------------------------------------------

The negative impact of this extension is proportional to its height. The documentation attached tothe planning application is nowhere specific on this.

In fact, the Design Statement mentions, in its introduction, inclusion of scaled drawings but stateselsewhere that "Only original drawings should be relied on unless accurate measurements arestated on the drawings to avoid issues of distortion of scanned or printed images, as plans areliable to distortion in transmission to the web. Measurements scaled from plans cannot beguaranteed to be accurate..."

The best guess at the height of this proposed wall can be taken from the 'Proposed East Elevation'plan. This appears to place it at approximately 2.5 times as high as the existing boundary wall.

The low Victorian wall is an intentional architectural feature that has, for many years, enabled ourproperties to share enjoyment of the open, outdoor space that exists between us. The proposedextension will remove a great deal of this outdoor space, dominate the remaining outdoor space inour property and dwarf the existing boundary wall.

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4. Concerns about the boundary wall----------------------------------------------

Our properties share a low Victorian brick boundary wall that runs the length of our rear gardens. Iam concerned how this wall will be retained if the neighbour's rear garden is dug away as per theproposal. Replacing this wall with modern bricks would be a great detriment to both properties.

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5. Concerns about flooding----------------------------------------------

The path leading along the side of our property slopes from the rear garden down to our rearkitchen door. In heavy rain, water can begin to pool at the back of our property. This is notcurrently a problem but I'm concerned that the roof of the proposed extension will cause additionalrun-off into our property.

In fact the 'Proposed East elevation plan' seems to indicate that the overhang surrounding the roofof the proposed extension encroaches into our property. (The actual demarcation line between thetwo properties is somewhat to the right of the vertical portion of the downpipe, behind theboundary wall shown in that plan.)

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6. Concerns about structural integrity----------------------------------------------

The plan shows the removal of large parts of the neighbour's existing exterior load bearing wallsbut does not explain or demonstrate how the property's structural integrity will be maintained. Iftheir property were to fall down, it would fall on to ours.

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7. Application inaccuracies-----------------------------------

The application form claims that there aren't "any trees or hedges on your own property or onadjoining properties which are within falling distance of the proposed development." This isn't true.there is a tall tree on our property that is within falling distance of the proposed development.Furthermore, the proposal suggests a digging out of the neighbour's garden. This will certainlythreaten the tree which is growing very close to our boundary wall.

The application form claims that there aren't "any trees or hedges that will need to be removed orpruned in order to carry out the proposal." This isn't true either. There are a number of lovelymature rose bushes, some on the neighbour's property that will sadly need to be removed and oneon our property that will need severe pruning.

The application form claims that there is no "new or altered pedestrian access proposed to or fromthe public highway". The Design Statement shows that insertion of a new gate will allowpedestrian access to the neighbour's back garden.

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In conclusion:-----------------------------------

Extensions and alterations to existing buildings are expected to: "Safeguard the amenity of thehost premises and neighbouring occupiers."

"Care should also be taken to ensure that any extension or alteration does not result in a harmfulloss of sunlight or daylight through overshadowing of its neighbours. Furthermore, extensionsshould not be overbearing or result in unacceptable overlooking or loss of privacy."

Whilst loss of privacy is not an issue here, all of the other considerations stated in these twoparagraphs are of great concern:

* This proposal does not safeguard the amenity of the neighbouring occupiers.* This proposal will result in a harmful loss of sunlight or daylight through overshadowing.* The proposed extension will have a marked overbearing effect.

I appreciate that the neighbours would like more internal family space but they have recently beengranted planning permission for a basement conversion which already offers this. They also havethe option of converting their attic. (Which would not adversely affect our property and whereample relevant planning history can be easily demonstrated.)