M3645/W/22/3311144

22nd Nov 2023

Appeal Number: Appeal Ref: APP/M3645/W/22/3311144

Original Application Number: TA/2020/1504

Address: 5 Queens Park Road, Caterham, Surrey CR3 5RB

Re Planning Application TA/2020/1504/ 2022/245 and the Appeal decision M3645/W/22/3311144 5 Queens Park Rd, Caterham CR3 5RB

The Caterham,  Chaldon and Whyteleafe Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Group has requested that I bring to your attention matters in relation to the above planning application:

  1. The Application Number 2020/1504 was determined on an outline basis with no drawings being made available, but subject to conditions
    This was for outline planning permission for the demolition of an existing dwelling and erection of a three-storey building comprising 11 apartments. The application was seeking approval for matters of access and layout only with details of appearance, landscaping and scale being reserved matters.
  2. Application Number 2022/245 was subsequently submitted for reserved matters -external scale and landscaping pursuant to Condition 2 of the Outline Permission. This was refused by TDC and went to appeal.
  3. The Inspector allowed the appeal, Ref Number APP/M3645/W/22/3311144, decision date 28 September 2023 and allowed.
  4. Subsequently, the neighbouring resident has reported that although pre-development conditions existed, these have been ignored.
    In particular:
    1. The Suds condition. On 6th November 2023 the existing property was demolished in breach of the Suds condition. It is our understanding that Southern Building Control sent a copy of the developers notice of intention to demolish with no start date referred to. Southern Building Control have told the resident that this notification is not copied to the Planning Department, so that they can check whether all pre demolition conditions have been satisfied.
    2. We have also been told by the resident that applications for Approval of Landscaping have now been submitted by the Developer. Both applications were dated the 14th  of November and refer to the development as not having commenced yet demolition of the house had been completed by 13th November.
  5. We would also like to draw to your attention that the Appeals inspector was not provided with a copy of the Neighbourhood Plan Design Guidelines. While these are part of the evidence base for the plan and do not have the same weight as Neighbourhood Plan policies the Neighbourhood Plan Implementation Group considers these guidelines to have great importance when assessing development standards in character areas such as Queens Park.
    In relation to Queens Park Road, The Neighbourhood Plan Design Guidelines  state very clearly that :
    The distinctive Edwardian character, layout and setting of Queen’s Park Neighbourhood Character Area (including vistas to and from the park) should be conserved and enhanced.
  • Views over or between houses on the steeply sloping areas should be preserved.
  • Future developments should provide or retain green verges, front gardens with trees and soft boundary treatments.
  • Proposed built form should be sympathetic to the existing Edwardian style of built form north of Queen’s Park through the scale, height and materials palette.
  • A tree strategy is needed to provide a short, medium and long terms to maintain the tree stock across the area, including replacement planting, tree maintenance and pruning regimes and maintain species of street trees that are a key characteristic.

In short , the Neighbourhood  Planning Implementation Group has the following concerns in relation to the  planning application process described above:

  • The whole application process was constrained by the initial granting of outline permission which in our view did not give adequate details from the start and yet determined the overall outcome.
  •  The Developer has not adhered to the conditions imposed
  •  It seems to us that the link between Planning and Enforcement Departments is not working and it appears that communication between departments has been ineffective in this case.
  •  The Design Guidelines which would have been helpful were not provided to the Appeals Inspector, where they might have assisted him in his final decision.

SUMMARY

The Caterham Chaldon and Whyteleafe Neighbourhood Plan, with Technical and Consultancy support funded by Locality and The Parishes, is embarking on a review process, with the intention of creating a Regulation 14  Plan Version with several new and revised policies by March 2024.

The CCWNP Implementation Group is clear about the direction of travel it will be communicating to local residents at engagement events in the New Year, where we will be seeking views on the new and Revised policies we want to evolve for a referendum version of the Plan in 2025.

The details of the Case described above do concern us as residents will want to know how the planning processes at Tandridge will be supporting them in the future.

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