Department Legal and Regulatory Services
|NORTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL|
|Agenda Item 2.2|
26 August 2008
Isle of Arran
27th February 2008
27th April 2008
Ardrossan and Arran
|Recommendation||Refuse for the reasons contained in Appendix 2|
|Location||Site to east of Craiglea Court|
Isle of Arran
|Applicant||Mr & Mrs T Tracey|
"The Shore House"
Isle of Arran
|Proposal||Erection of 9 flats, associated parking and alteration to existing access|
This application was the subject of the site familiarisation visit by Members of the Planning Committee on 2nd April 2008.
This is an application to extend on the east side of Shore House (Craiglea Court), a two-and-a-half storey detached building of relatively conventional design currently used as holiday letting flats, to provide a 3-storey extension. Three flats would be provided on each floor, each flat having 2 bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathroom.
The building would be positioned forward of the Shore House towards Shore Road at a point where the building line steps back. The proposed apartments would be linked to the existing building by a newly formed entrance vestibule, which would provide access to both the existing and proposed buildings. The design is contemporary and the footprint of the building is a relatively narrow curve, aligned north to south. The principal windows would be formed on the east face of the curve. Living rooms and balconies would be positioned at either end of the building facing north and south; living rooms in the centre of the building would face east. The roof would be mainly dual-pitched but sections of mono-pitch would be formed at either end. The proposed external wall finishes are white wet dash render and red reconstituted stone to the base walls; the proposed roof finish would be sedum turf (colour green). The east elevation features a high number of window units and large areas of glazing particularly at the north end. Twelve car parking spaces would be arranged on the east side of the building accessed by a service road leading from the public road which in addition serves 3 dwellinghouses at the rear of the site. Landscaping is indicated at the front of the building and a bin storage/collection area to the rear.
The site and grounds to the front of the Shore House are generally open and grass covered with hedging around some of the edges. Parking for the existing Shore House flats is indicated at the rear of the building served by an access road on its west side.
A design statement has been submitted by the applicants' architect which states that the architecture of the majority of the buildings along the sea front including Shore House, with the exception of the Douglas Hotel, is of no architectural quality. The development of the site, therefore, presents an opportunity to introduce an imaginative architectural solution to at least improve the contribution that Shore House makes to the overall sea front, particularly when viewed from the east, the first impression seen by visitors arriving by ferry at the Pier.
The applicant states that the design concept is that of a curved structure wrapping around the east end of Shore House which preserves the gap between it and Bilslands, at the same time serving to change the existing east elevation of Shore House and making a valid architectural statement on its own. The outlook from the residential properties adjoining to the rear (south) is towards a green space and it is proposed that the extension would have a green roof planted with sedums which will preserve the green aspect enjoyed by the neighbouring properties as well as providing a slower run off of rain water and providing a habitat for birds. Viewed from the east the green roof will also soften the existing harsh outline of the Shore House, reducing its prominence.
To bed the proposal into the landscape, the architect states that it is proposed to use a base course of reconstructed stone increasing in height towards the rear and punctuated on the east elevation by ground floor windows. The ground to the front will be open and landscaped to provide quality amenity space for the building itself and the sea front in general. Above the base course, the walls would be rendered with white wet dash. The architect states that alternative materials could be employed, including timber cladding or sections of 'green walling' to complement the green roof. Larger areas of glazing on the upper floors will allow the building to take advantage of the panoramic views, as well as maximising light to the building.
In conclusion, the development provides an opportunity to introduce a piece of quality architecture to the shore front on a site where the absence of any fine neighbouring buildings or predominant style precludes conflict. The proposal will soften the existing contrast of styles and present a more pleasing elevation to the east, as well providing a sustainable solution.
In the Adopted Isle of Arran Local Plan, the site is located within a residential area within Brodick settlement boundary and is unaffected by any site specific policies or proposals therein. Policy RES1 permits proposals for residential development within the settlement boundary. All development proposals require to be assessed against the relevant criteria of the Development Control Statement of the Local Plan.
On 20th June 2007, the Planning Committee approved a Design Framework for Brodick sea front which notes that it is characterised by different layers of use and buildings from the shore to a residential backdrop. It also recognises the importance of the relationship between the large freestanding buildings typically of 2-and-a-half storey height on Shore Road and the substantial gaps separating each site - allowing a second layer of smaller scale residential buildings to sit against the hillside whilst still benefiting from sea views, the stepping of the building line and predominant green space to sight frontages.
On 4th March 2002, planning permission for the erection of 3 shop units on the application site was refused on the grounds that the proposed development would be detrimental to the amenity and appearance of the area and as the siting, design and external appearance of the building would be out of character with the pattern, form and scale of development in the area (application no. N/01/00534/PP).
Planning permission for the erection of a freestanding block of 9 flats on the application site was refused on 26th February 2007 on the grounds that the development would be contrary to the Development Control Statement of the Local Plan by reason of its scale, siting, design and external appearance and that it would be contrary to the existing pattern and form of development which would be detrimental to the character of the area and visual amenity (Application no. N/06/00920/PP).
3. Consultations and Representations
The applicants have certified that neighbour notification notices were served on those with an interest in neighbouring land. The application was also advertised in a local newspaper on 11th April 2008 for neighbour notification purposes. Letters of objection were received from the following:-
1. AS and LW Hocking, Annerleigh, Alma Road, Brodick;
2. Robert Bryce, Grey Gables, Alma Road, Brodick;
3. Elizabeth McKellar, Brandane, 5 Glen Avenue, Brodick;
4. Miss Isabella Wilson, 3 Brathwic, Brodick;
5. Ian and Michelle Hook, St. Mark's Vicarage, Rolinson Street, Barrow-on-Furness, Cumbria.
Grounds of Objection
1. The site would be overdeveloped, which would result in a high density urban environment uncharacteristic of Brodick, which is essentially a rural community. Residential properties would be affected in terms of noise, traffic, increased refuse storage and general loss of amenity. The scale, design and appearance of the buildings are not in keeping with existing buildings along the shore frontage. Two urban type stores, Bilslands and the Co-op should not be used to justify further inappropriate development along the shore front.
Response - It is agreed that the proposal would represent overdevelopment of the site and that the scale, design and appearance of the proposed development are inappropriate (see analysis).
2. The Brodick Design Framework states that the gap between Shore House and Bilslands should be maintained allowing views through. The applicant has attempted to minimise the reduction of the gap by linking the extension to Shore House and narrowing its site frontage. The proposed development would block off the second tier houses completely and reduce light to the third tier housing. The proposed development is, therefore, contrary to the Brodick Design Framework.
Response - The development would still permit an outlook to the shore from the property immediately south of the site (Cumbrae). The next property to the west, Craiglea, would have a restricted outlook to the bay, while the outlook from the furthest west of the three, Iona, would be completely obstructed by the building. The space between Shore House and Bilslands would be halved, though a gap of some 13.5m would remain. The third tier houses are elevated above the application site and lie to the south. They would not, therefore, be affected by loss of daylight or sunlight.
3. Parking - only 10 spaces are proposed and no allowance has been made for visitor parking or two car families. Cars inevitably will be parked on both sides of the already congested main road.
Response - Roads and Transportation Services sought clarification on parking provision for both the new development and the existing Shore House flats. Revised plans have been submitted showing 12 parking spaces for the extension and a formal layout parking plan for the existing building also indicating 12 spaces, one for each of the 12 apartments in the building. Roads are now satisfied with the level of parking for the overall development.
4. The property Grey Gables on Alma Road, which adjoins the rear ground of Shore House, was not notified about the development.
Response - As Grey Gables does not adjoin nor lies within 4m of the application site, there was no requirement to notify the owners/occupants.
5. The proposed development does not address the issue of the desperate lack of low-cost housing on Arran. There is no demand locally for a development such as is proposed.
Response - There is no existing Local Plan policy which requires developers to make provision for affordable housing. The question of demand for the flats proposed is a market consideration for the applicant to take into account when deciding to proceed with the development.
6. The new sewerage system is unable to cope with a development of this scale, particularly if surface water is allowed to connect to the sewer.
Response - Scottish Water did not object to the development (see below). They did indicate that surface water would require to be disposed of by means of SUDS. A condition could be imposed in this regard.
7. The proposed rear facing balconies would overlook Craiglea, which would be intrusive and would compromise the privacy of the occupants of the dwellinghouse.
Response - The applicant has amended the proposals to move the building further north to achieve a distance of 18m between the front of Craiglea and the south face of the building, 18m being the normally accepted minimum distance between directly facing principal rooms; the original plans indicated a gap of around 15m. The privacy of the occupants of the dwellinghouses to the south should not, therefore, be significantly affected by reason of loss of privacy.
Roads and Transportation Services - Vehicular access to the site should be in the form of a minor commercial access footway crossing, no surface water should issue from the access onto the public road, the access roads and parking area should be hard surfaced and the parking area marked out to show spaces. There is insufficient area within the site to permit turning by refuse vehicles and it would be necessary, therefore, to provide a bin collection area within the landscaping at the front of the site
Response - Conditions could be imposed with regard to these matters.
Isle of Arran Community Council - The site would be overdeveloped by the erection of the 9 flats. The design of the building is not in keeping with the vernacular Brodick sea front residential development and incorporates too much glass. The balconies would overlook adjacent properties. 8 parking spaces are inadequate for 9 flats. Development of the site has been refused on at least 2 previous occasions. Traffic entering and exiting the site on to a busy pavement and road would endanger pedestrians and vehicles and sewage from the site could not be connected to the existing main sewage system.
Response - These matters have been largely addressed above. With regard to pedestrian and vehicular safety, there is a number of vehicular accesses to properties which cross the pavement along Brodick sea front and the proposed development would be no different from them; as at present existing due care and caution would have to be adopted by drivers of vehicles accessing/egressing the site to maintain safety. Roads had no objection to the development with regard to road and pedestrian safety.
Scottish Water - No objection. The waste water network that serves the proposed development is currently able to accommodate the new demand. A totally separate drainage system will be required with surface water discharging to a suitable outlet. A SUDS system for surface water drainage is required if the system is to be considered for adoption.
Response - A condition could be imposed to ensure that surface water drainage is disposed of by means of SUDS.
The proposal is for residential development within the settlement boundary of Brodick and in principle therefore it accords with Local Plan Policy RES1. The main determining issues are whether the proposals accord with the relevant criteria of the Development Control Statement of the Adopted Local Plan and the approved Brodick Design Framework.
An assessment against the Development Control Statement criteria follows:
(a) Siting, design and external appearance - The building would be sited to the side of Shore House but forward of the building towards Shore Road at a point where the building line steps back from Shore Road. The building would also be positioned in the foreground of the 3 residential properties to the rear (south) and while loss of view is not a material planning consideration, the outlook from the two westmost properties would be restricted to the rear of Shore House and the proposed building which, it is considered, would be detrimental to the amenity of the occupants of the property. The dwellinghouses would not be able to view much if any of the proposed sedum roof given the relative levels. As indicated above, the third dwellinghouse would still obtain an outlook albeit through the slot between Bilslands and the proposed apartments. Finally, the southern half of the building would face directly towards the blank gable of Bilslands and, therefore, the outlook from the flats on the ground and first floor in particular would be, it is considered, unsatisfactory. The siting of the proposed building is therefore considered to be unacceptable.
With regard to design and appearance, the massing of the building is similar to that of the existing in that the ridge of the annex would be approximately 0.9m lower than the ridge of the existing building. It would, however, have a narrow frontage (9m) compared to that of Shore House (23m) and a depth equivalent to twice that of the existing building. As indicated above, the principal frontage would face east. The proposed extension would, therefore, conflict with the basic form and orientation of the existing building.
While the applicants' architect has deliberately selected a contemporary approach due to the 'unremarkable' appearance of the existing building and the neighbouring Bilslands, the design and appearance of the proposed extension would utterly contrast with the existing building with the exception of the rendered upper walls; the proposed sedum roof would, furthermore, contrast with the predominantly dark-coloured roofing materials of the buildings along the shore front. The curved plan of the extension would also contrast with the rectangular form of the existing building. It is considered that the contrast between the existing building and the proposed extension would be so jarring that it would be detrimental to the appearance of the existing building and the visual amenity of the area. The large areas of glazing and mono-pitch roofs would also contrast with the style and character of the buildings along the shore front.
Furthermore, the scale of the building is such that it is considered that it would represent overdevelopment of the site. It would occupy much of the site, leaving little room for private amenity space for the occupants. The access driveway to the parking area would be shared with three other dwellinghouses. As noted above, there is insufficient area within the site to permit turning by refuse vehicles and it would be necessary to provide a bin collection area within the landscaping at the front of the site which would be unsatisfactory in terms of visual amenity.
Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, it is considered that the siting, design and external appearance of the proposed extension are unacceptable in the context of the existing building and developments along the shore front.
(b) Amenity - The proposed use of the extension for residential flats is unlikely to have any adverse implications for the amenity of neighbouring residential properties by reason of noise, disturbance, loss of day light, sunlight or privacy. As indicated above, however, the outlook from the properties at the rear would be severely compromised by the siting, scale and proximity of the extension. The proposed development would therefore be detrimental to the amenity of neighbouring residential properties. The amenity of the proposed ground and first floor flats towards the rear of the site would also be disadvantaged by having an inadequate standard of outlook from the rooms therein.
(c) Landscape character - The development is located within the core of the settlement and, therefore, there are no adverse implications for landscape character.
(d) Access, road layout and parking provision - The proposed arrangements satisfy the requirements of Roads and Transportation services.
(e) Water and sewerage - Scottish Water had no objection to the proposed development provided surface water is disposed of by means of SUDS.
(f) Safeguarding zones - There are none to be considered.
(g) The precautionary principle - This is not relevant to the application.
The other main determining issue is whether the proposal accords with the approved Brodick Design Framework. While the gap between Shorehouse and Bilslands would be significantly reduced, a gap of around 13.5m would remain should the development proceed. The extension would, however, significantly obstruct and diminish the quality of outlook for the properties to the rear and, therefore, it is considered that the proposal would conflict with the aims of the approved Design Framework.
In view of the foregoing, it is recommended that planning permission be refused.
5. Full Recommendation
Refuse as per Appendix 2.
Ian T Mackay
Assistant Chief Executive