Parking approved at cottage that was already built
PLANS to formalise a car parking area and turn an outbuilding into a garage at a property near Tredegar have been agreed by councillors.
But concerns were raised that allowing the proposal to go ahead would create a precedent and possible headaches if similar applications are received by the council.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning Committee on Thursday, June 15, the application by Ian Morris for number 1 Cross Book, Trefil, near Tredegar, was brought up for discussion.
The problems stem from an application to build a house at the site which was agreed by councillors in 2015.
At the time, the council’s Planning Committee went against planning officers’ recommendations by approving the application, which is outside the settlement development boundary of Trefil.
Planning officer Jane Engel said: “There is a bit of background to this.
“Without any agricultural, forestry or rural enterprise justification, the original application was considered contrary to policy.”
Ms Engel explained that once planning permission was granted a condition was attached requiring a parking area to be provided before anyone started living in the house.
Ms Engel said: “The house has now been constructed and occupied; however, the parking has not been provided.
“Following conversations with the applicant it appeared he wanted to retain the outbuilding and we advised him to make an application to do so.
“While in strict terms the development remains contrary to planning policy a precedent has been set by the previous approval and that could be implemented by removing the outbuilding and providing the parking area.
“It is in this instance; it is considered unreasonable to recommend refusal of the principle to retain the dwelling.”
She advised councillors to approve the proposal.
Cllr Wayne Hodgins said: “What concerns me is the wording: ‘a precedent has been set’.”
Cllr Hodgins asked for “clarification” on the meaning of this terminology for fear that future planning applications would be made to build outside settlement boundaries.
Ms Engel said: “It’s purely for this particular site which was granted by councillors at that particular time.”
Planning development team manager Steph Hopkins explained that if the house had not been built, “even though” councillors had approved the previous application, planning officers would recommend refusing it again.
Mrs Hopkins said: “It is outside the settlement boundary where there shouldn’t be any built development.
“There is this quirk with this one as there is a fall-back position.
“The house would remain anyway, and they would just put it in accordance with the (2015) approved plans.”
Committee vice-chairman Cllr Peter Baldwin: “When we say about having three parking spaces around the back, I look at the front and there’s a driveway there that you could park six cars on it.
“I don’t see parking being a concern to be honest, it’s not a built up area, they have enhanced the area tremendously from what was there before.”
Councillors unanimously approved the application.
By BBC LDRS
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