Home extension approved despite concerns of former Peterborough City Council leader

Planning officers have approved plans for an extension to a village home near Peterborough despite some concerns raised by former city council leader John Holdich on behalf of a parish council

Sunday, 19th December 2021, 11:15 am
Planning news.

The former Leader of Peterborough City Council, now Parish Councillor John Holdich, was at Sand Martin House this week (December 14) for a planning application hearing.

Parish Cllr Holdich spoke on behalf of Glinton Parish Council about a proposed two-storey extension to the side of a dwelling at Welmore Road, Glinton.

At the meeting of the Planning and Environmental Protection Committee, Mr Simon Machen, the owner, said: “The initial submission has been revised to reduce the width of the side extension proposed, but the general layout remains largely as per the initial scheme.

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“We are looking to replace the existing flat roofed single storey utility with a proposed two storey side extension with a width of 4.3m and a depth of 6.9m providing for a playroom at ground floor and a bedroom, ensuite and bathroom at first floor.

“The proposed side extension would extend across the full width of the existing dwelling and the proposed side extension. It would have a depth of 4.8m.

“That extension would accommodate an open plan kitchen/dining/family area and utility room. It would have a total external height of 2.7m from the natural ground level. There would be a series of bi-fold doors across the rear elevation.

“The proposals would create an enlarged family dwelling, increasing the overall number of bedrooms to four, and creating a larger ground floor living area. Two parking spaces would be provided.”

Parish Cllr Holdich said: “In principle we don’t have an objection to this application in the way that it is but if you look at the papers you will see tha

twenty people wrote into the council in favour of the application.

“I can tell you now that none of those twenty people came from the village of Glinton – they came from Etton, Peakirk, Walton and just about everywhere else.

“Which has led to some suspicion as to exactly what that big ‘playroom’ on the plans is all about.

“And while I realise that you can’t take a suspicion into account, I would ask the committee to take into consideration when you are making your decision today that this property is for domestic use only and would need alternate planning if changed to a business use.

“I would also draw your attention to the building materials proposed and remind you that this is a rather run-down old council house.

“Regardless, I would remind you that this proposal does need to fit in with the other 86 council houses that are there.

“The Parish Council believes, and your planning regulations will bear out that these should all be of similar design and material construction.

“However, what the Parish Councillors have real concerns about is the parking situation based on an average of two cars per household as we have today.

“This is a shared driveway – which always causes domestic strife in my experience – you will have people backing out onto a highway which is dangerous.

“We believe if the applicant considered moving the extension back just a bit further you could get two cars on the driveway, and we would ask the committee to also take that into consideration.”

Cllr Dennis Jones asked Mr Machen about the parking situation, saying: “I have shared parking myself at my property and I can tell that at times it is a total nightmare.

“You seem to have plenty of space at the front of the property – would it not be possible, as the Parish Council have indicated, for your extension to be moved slightly on the plans to allow for two cars to be parked on the driveway?”

Mr Machen replied: “I think that is a matter for the committee. The advice that your highways officers have given me is that they’re satisfied with the plans as they stand and have recommended the application be granted as it is.

“Therefore, anything additional to that advice would be in contravention of your own officers’ recommendations, and while we would be prepared to look at what has been suggested, I think if it can’t be achieved or made to work from a functional point of view then we will leave things as they are – but we will look at it, yes.”

Cllr Jones went on: “You also heard from Parish Cllr Holdich about concerns regarding the large playroom and the possibility of it being used in the context of a business – what do you say about that?”

Mr Machen responded: “If you look at the plans and particularly the ground floor layout, I don’t think that these are in any way unusual for a family home with two children which is exactly what we are proposing here.

“I can tell you now that we have no intentions of running a business from the property, we never did have, and we certainly don’t in the future.

“At worst, I suppose at some point in the future, this room may become a home office – but this isn’t unusual today as we’ve all had to change our views on flexible working, including working from home – since the pandemic; and besides, having a home office is not something that requires planning permission.”

Members voted unanimously to go with officers recommendations and grant the application.