Peterborough ‘business’ told to halt religious instruction classes after planning permission rejected

An application for the retrospective change of use of an outbuilding at 89 Grange Road, West Town, has been refused even though religious instruction classes are already being held there.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 5:00 am
The property where the classes are taking place

Members of Peterborough City Council’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee refused the application on the recommendation of planning officers on the basis that the proposed change of use to the outbuilding would result in disturbance and noise from those attending the premises.

Attendees parking and manoeuvring their vehicles, banging car doors and running engines were all considered to be to the unacceptable detriment of the amenity of the occupiers of the neighbouring dwellings.

Nick Harding, council head of development and construction, told members at Tuesday’s meeting: “In addition to the noise and disturbances neighbours would incur from attendees at the religious instruction classes being held in the outbuilding, there is also a total lack of sufficient off street car parking available at the property to serve the proposed change of use.

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“This would most likely result in on road parking, close to a junction on a residential street and the blocking of footways that could result in highway dangers to the detriment and safety of other highway users, including neighbouring properties.”

Speaking on behalf of his business, Mr A Hussain said: “The religious instruction classes are not a business, but only for my family and friends taking place Monday to Thursday from 3.30pm to 7.40pm. Each class is only for the children, and usually there are between four and 10 in attendance.

“I am seeking retrospective permission for the change of use of the recently built outbuilding from residential to mixed use. The outbuilding was constructed under permitted development rights as a building incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house.

“The material change in use is for a mixed use incidental to the dwelling house and for the provision of my religious instruction classes which are already taking place within the building.”

Mr Harding added: “The council have received two objections from 85 and 91 Grange Road on the basis that the proposed use is most definitely for a business purpose, and not for Mr Hussain’s family and friends as indicated. And the increased traffic from use of the outbuilding for teaching, blocking driveways and pavement from associated vehicles using the classroom is considered a hazard as the drive is close to a junction.

“The objectors have noted that parents regularly park and drop off students in and around the site which has led to parking concerns as well obstructions to neighbouring drives from vehicles. The application site is near to the junction with Westfield Road to the north and it has allegedly been observed that obstructions to neighbouring parking and the increased curb side parking is posing a dangerous hazard close to a busy junction, which is also subject to double yellow lined parking restrictions.”

Following planning officers’ recommendations the members voted to refuse the application, with the provision that the religious instruction classes and any other business activities being held there cease with immediate effect.