Agenda item

P16/S2714/FUL - Goats Gambol, Beech Lane, Woodcote

Demolish and replace the existing dwelling with a two-storey 5-bedroom dwelling. Demolish and replace the existing stables with a 3-bedroom bungalow.


David Nimmo-Smith stepped down from committee and took no part in the debate or voting for this item.


The committee considered application P16/S2714/FUL to demolish and replace the existing dwelling with a two-storey five-bedroom dwelling; and to demolish and replace the existing stables with a three-bedroom bungalow at Goats Gambol, Beech Lane, Woodcote.


Consultations, representations, policy and guidance and the site’s planning history were detailed in the officer’s report which formed part of the agenda pack for this meeting.


Robin Peirce, a representative of Woodcote parish council, spoke objecting to the application. His concerns included:

·         Woodcote have an adopted neighbourhood plan, which should be adhered to;

·         This application is in an isolated location on the edge of Woodcote, which could set a precedent;

·         To demolish half of a pair of semi-detached dwellings would result in a large plain brick flank wall, which would be detrimental to the AONM;

·         The inspector for the recent lost appeal for an application on the same site would be a clear intrusion into the AONB;

·         Disagree that Goats Gambol needs demolishing, it needs maintenance;

·         The proposed detached dwelling would be overbearing and un-neighbourly;

·         If minded to approve, the committee should ensure that any remedial work be completed before any further work starts by condition.


Robin and Carol Parsons, local residents, spoke objecting to the application. Their concerns included the following:

·         They do not object to the bungalow element of the proposal, but strongly object to the five-bedroom house;

·         Regarding the overbearing positioning of the house, they are very concerned with overlooking and loss of sunlight;

·         They have never objected to a loss of view, as stated in the report; and

·         The property could be refurbished instead, they don’t consider it necessary to demolish.


Phillip Sparks and Andrew French, the applicant and agent, spoke in support of the application:

·         The current property is poorly constructed with no cavity, insulation or adequate foundations and has had sub-standard work carried out in the  past;

·         Pre-application advice resulted in a recommendation to demolish the current building and start again;

·         They have complied with constraints set out in the Woodcote local plan, design guide, local plan and Chilterns design guide;

·         The applicants have responded to requests to address concerns by moving windows, the garage and moving the property away from the root protection area;

·         They have concentrated on traditional Chilterns detailing in the materials, windows, boundary and edging treatments; and

·         They are committed to providing good vernacular, sympathetic to the neighbourhood.


David Nimmo-Smith, the local ward member, spoke objecting to the application.


The committee considered the application, with advice from officers where appropriate. Although some members of the committee were minded to approve the application, with a strengthening of condition 13 to include timescales for the remedial work, the majority of the committee did not agree that the development would not be overbearing, unneighbourly and have a harmful impact on the AONB.


A motion, moved and seconded, to approve the application was declared lost on being put to the vote.


A motion, moved and seconded, to refuse the application was declared carried on being put to the vote.


RESOLVED: to refuse planning permission for application P16/S2714/FUL, for the following reasons:


1.    Having regard to the scale and position of the proposed two-storey dwelling and garage, the council considers that there there would be a significant loss of daylight and sunlight to the neighbouring property at Hawthorn Cottage. Furthermore, the internal layout of the proposed dwelling would result in a loss of privacy through direct overlooking of parts of the neighbouring property from the first floor bedroom windows. As such, there would be a materially harmful impact upon neighbouring amenity, contrary to policies CSQ3 of the South Oxfordshire design Guide and Policies H4, D1 and D4 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011. 


2.    Having regard to the scale of the proposed two-storey dwelling, its position within the site and inappropriate form and detailing, the council considers that the proposal would represent an intrusive form of backland development, causing material harm to the character and appearance of the site and the special rural character of this part of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As such, the proposal is contrary to Policy H10 of the Woodcote Neighbourhood Plan, Policies CSEN1 and CSQ3 of the South Oxfordshire Core Strategy and Policies H4, D1, G2, G4 and C4 of the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2011.

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