IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM ORDER OF MR JUSTICE STANLEY BURNTON
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE ROBERT WALKER
SIR MARTIN NOURSE
|On Application of CARLTON-CONWAY
|- v -
|LONDON BOROUGH OF HARROW
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street,
London EC4A 2HD
Tel: 0171 421 4040
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
MR TIMOTHY STRAKER QC (Instructed by Legal Department, London Borough of Harrow) appeared on behalf of the Respondent
Crown Copyright ©
" ..... other than those:
1.1 which, pursuant to the provisions of the Act, are required to be referred to the Secretary of State of the Environment, and the application would otherwise be dealt with under the terms of this delegation;
1.2 which, in his opinion would be refused, unless they involve minor development;
1.3 which involve a departure from the Development Plan for the time being applicable to the Borough;
1.6 which involved development by another Local Authority, Statutory Undertaker or Government Department having, in his opinion, a material environmental impact;
1.7 where approval is recommended for development which, in his opinion, would have a material impact on the character of a Conservation Area;
1.9 where approval of development is recommended and a written objection or objections have been received, except where the proposals do not conflict with agreed policies, standards and guidelines;"
"Developers shall provide a high quality of design and layout in new residential development and extensions. In considering proposals the council will take into account the character of the Borough, the surrounding residential district and locality in which the development site is located and the development site itself, together with the design and layout of the proposed development, and will require that the proposal:
(A) respects the scale, massing, siting, size, height, character spacing, form, intensity and use of buildings in the district and locality;
(B) provide space around buildings which reflect the setting and character of neighbouring buildings and the district and locality, protects the privacy and amenities of the occupiers of adjoining properties and the occupiers of proposed buildings ..... "
"2.122 The council wishes to ensure that new development and extensions respect the established setting and character of neighbouring buildings and the locality. An important element of this character is the amount of space around, and the distance between, buildings .....
2.123 Consideration should be given to the visual impact of a new development or extensions on neighbouring properties, particularly near site boundaries. Such impact is perceived from within the existing building and from the rear gardens of the properties ..... The Council will also issue supplementary planning guidance notes on matters such as design, to illustrate good planning practice."
"In addition to the above, the relationship between buildings is also important, particularly the visual impact of new development or extensions on neighbouring properties, particularly near site boundaries. In respect of new dwellings or extensions:
(2) The visual impact of the flank wall of a new building (or extension) alongside the rear flank boundary of an existing property should be reduced by ensuring that the building is not sited directly against the boundary.
(3) Two-storey or first floor extensions to semi-detached or detached dwellings should not detract from the existing character or create terracing effects. Normally, the impact of such extensions should be reduced by setting back the front and/or side walls of the extension by one metre and provision of a subordinate roof.
The council will, as appropriate, issue planning guidance notes on matters such as design, to illustrate good planning practice."
"There will be a general presumption against two-storey rear extensions abutting a side boundary because of the excessive bulk and loss of light and consequent damage to the amenity of the adjoining residents. Where appropriate the forty-five degree Code will be used in conjunction with site considerations to govern the depth of extension."
"to seek the committee's views in the abstract, on whether the application would have been acceptable had it been reported to the Committee and, if so, whether the Committee would also ratify the Chief Planning Officer's decision to grant planning permission. The Committee's views are required in advance of the judicial review hearing on 30 October 2001."
" ..... to seek the Committee's view on whether the application was properly determined in accordance with the terms of the delegated powers of the Chief Planning Officer, whether it would have been acceptable if it had been reported to the Planning Committee and, if so, whether the Committee would also ratify the Chief Planning Officer's decision to grant planning permission."
"that the application would have been granted planning permission had it been reported to Committee."
"The committee resolved that it would be minded to grant permission on the merits of the planning application if it were to come before them as a proper application. Six members voted in favour of the resolution, two voted against and two abstained. One member abstained although he did not ask for his vote to be recorded."
(1) it was for the planning officer acting reasonably to determine whether or not there was a conflict with planning policies and if he determined that there was no such conflict he could validly grant planning permission;
(2) the planning officer reasonably concluded that the proposals did not conflict with the policies "as reasonably interpreted by him";
(3) the planning officer correctly interpreted 4 (2) of the supplementary guidance by deleting the word "flank" before the word "boundary" because the word had been inserted in error. It followed that the statement had no application to the case.
(4) The planning officer was entitled reasonably to conclude that the proposed extension was not a two-storey extension within the meaning of paragraph C9.