29 SEYMOUR ROAD 14/01675/F

We must apologise for the late arrival of our comments in this case.
Following the refusal of the earlier planning applications 13/03067/F and 14/00146, the Bishopston Society continues to be concerned about the current application for the site.

This latest application is virtually identical to the previous application except that the number of houses has been reduced from 5 to 4, which has not addressed the fundamental problems with the scheme and the previous reasons for refusal. The revised design is still square and boxy and has no satisfactory relationship with its context. The latest submission does now include one Street Elevation drawing, which serves only to demonstrate how the design of the scheme remains alien to its surroundings and in particular to the existing Georgian villa no 29.

The Proposed Site Section shows the rear extensions to the houses directly behind the proposals in Dongola Road as a very faint outline which gives the false impression that there is more separation between the buildings than is in the case. In fact, the new houses come as close as 16 metres from the existing houses behind, with the bedroom windows overlooking each other and the garden areas and kitchen windows each side. The size of the proposed rear gardens is extremely small, with that of house 04 only 5.5m deep and 30m2 in area. We consider that the proposed houses are overbearing to the rear of the houses in Dongola Road behind. It has also come to our attention that the Cross Section drawing actually misrepresents the relationship between the proposed houses and the existing houses in Dongola Road, which actually sit much lower than indicated and would be subject to significant overlooking/overbearing by the proposals.

The starting point for the design of any building within the grounds of a large historic property should be that it relates to but is subservient to that building. In this case, the Design and Access Statement describes the proposals as a mews, whereas the proposed layout shows a staggered block of full 2 storey houses which are ‘industrial’ rather than mews-like in character. The root of the problem is that there are still too many houses on the site. Any proposals for this sensitive site should be single or 1 ½ storeys in height with low eaves and wide rather than narrow frontage, so that they could be pulled away from the rear boundary and given more adequately sized gardens.

The vehicle access through the site is long and tortuous and would detract from the amenity of adjacent properties by reason of noise and disturbance. Furthermore, the parking provision at 1 space per house would prove inadequate and, along with the difficulties of access and manoeuvring on site, would lead to on going problems. There are no facilities for storing refuse and recycling within the stipulated 30m of the highway. The furthest house has its refuse store 50m from the highway. The Design and access statement refers to 29 Seymour Road as having parking within the curtilage but none is shown on the site layout.

It is a planning requirement that all drawings must have scale bars. In this case none of the drawings has a scale bar and it is very difficult to ascertain the size or scale of the proposals accurately.

To conclude, we consider that the proposal is over-development with an unacceptable design and inadequate parking which will have a detrimental impact on local amenity and character of the area.

 We recommend refusal.

Outcome: Refused

NOTE: the articles shown above are merely the most recent 10 in our Planning section. There's lots more as you'll see by clicking through to the sub-sections Commentary, Architecture, Licensing and Policies.