The Planning Manager outlined the application to the Committee and pointed out that the objector, from a neighbouring property, had submitted a further letter of objection and had directly contacted the Members of the Committee to make further representations.
He reported that the proposal had originally included the widening of the access and alterations to the boundary wall, however, the applicant had confirmed in writing that those elements of the proposal had been withdrawn and amended plans to show their removal would be submitted in due course, and that the recommendation of approval was subject to the receipt of the amended plans.
He explained that the application was compliant with the Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and that, having regard to the development plan, the concerns raised through representations and other material considerations, the proposal had been considered acceptable on balance and it was recommended that planning permission was granted, subject to conditions.
The Chairperson welcomed Ms. J. Magill, and Mr. M. Worthington, Pragma Planning, to the meeting, on behalf of the objector.
Mr. Worthington stated that the SPG was a material consideration in accordance with the Local Development Plan and he outlined to the Committee how the application did not meet the SPG and should be refused.
Ms. Magill, the daughter of the neighbouring objector, stated that would be happy for her neighbour to extend his house but objects to the proposal to be built along her boundary.
She explained that the architect’s report illustrated how the foundations of her mother’s property were likely to be compromised by the proposal. She added that the one metre offset within the planning policy was not a grey area and must be complied with.
She stated that there were no clear reasons provided as to why the SPG should be set aside and planning permission granted.
The Chairperson welcomed Mr. G. Colleary, the applicant, and Ms. D. Kyle, Turley, to the meeting.
Mr. Colleary explained that, since the application had been submitted, various amended plans had been submitted to address any issues which had been identified by officers and concerns from third parties, that included a change to the materials, size, scale and mass of the proposal.
He stated that he had actively tried to minimise the effect on neighbouring properties and had consulted with an engineer, who had advised him that external insulation on the walls of the existing building and proposed extension was the most efficient way to improve the energy efficiency of the property. He added that he planned to install solar panels and a battery pack to make the property as close to energy neutral as possible.
Ms. Kyle reported that the design, scale and massing of the proposal was considered proportionate to the host property and site plot and that it respected the character of the wider area.
She stated that the applicant acknowledged the concerns from third parties that related to the amenity, loss of light and privacy, however, the officer’s assessment balanced all the issues against relevant policy and guidance.
She concluded by stating that the proposal was reflective of the scale, mass and design of other properties along the Dorchester Park streetscene and was appropriate to the host plot.
The Committee approved the application with conditions and delegated authority to the Director of Planning and Building Control to finalise the wording of the conditions and to deal with any other matters that may arise (subject to the receipt of amended plans which remove the original proposed alterations to the access and boundary wall).