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CONSERVATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE 7 August 2007 REPORT OF HEAD OF PLANNING SERVICES Applications for consideration The following applications have been received in or adjacent to conservation areas. In considering applications the Local Planning Authority must consider the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area, and whether the individual proposals here would contribute to that aim. The comments of the Advisory Committee are invited to be taken into account when the appropriate Planning Committee, Sub-Committee or I consider the applications under delegated powers. Copies of the relevant plans are attached after each report. Ashleigh Road Conservation Area Application No.: 2007/1296 Location: 22 Ashleigh Road, Solihull Proposal: Re-instate black tarmac drive and forecourt Site Description This semi-detached property lies a little south of the junction with Silhill Hall Road. The pair were built in 1910. They are important buildings within the Conservation Area. 22 has been carefully extended in the past. Proposal This application seeks planning consent to re-instate a black tarmac drive. An existing pea gravel drive would be removed and a black tarmac drive and forecourt laid in its place. Problems have arisen with the existing gravel due to its variation in depth and associated spread that takes gravel out onto the pavement and road. Its construction, replacing a tarmac drive, was granted planning consent three years ago. Appraisal The proposed re-instatement of a tarmac drive and forecourt could, as an entire surface covering, and prior to its more weathered ‘grey’ appearance, impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. In the immediate vicinity of the application site a variety of driveway treatments are in evidence; tarmac, gravel and block paving. If the extent of the tarmac could be somewhat reduced I would take the view that it would have an acceptable impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. The Conservation Area appraisal from the designation date states that large expanses of tarmac should be avoided. Many other drives are laid to tarmac, and the replacement of their weathered surfaces with new, comparatively stark black tarmac, would arguably not require planning consent as “like-for-like” works. After all, the Council cannot request that a pre- weathered surface be laid. Whilst different aggregates can be rolled into a hot- tack coat, or bound in resin, these are significantly more costly than plain tarmac. It would therefore not be reasonable to insist on these where tarmac, albeit mostly weathered to grey and having a worn gritty surface in many cases, is the predominant surface. Your Conservation Consultant has raised no objection to the proposal but recommends that a more sensitive combination of materials could be achieved in order to reduce and therefore soften the impact of the tarmac area. The Consultants report is attached below. For the reasons outlined above I consider that subject to minor alterations to the layout and use of materials, the proposed works will preserve the character and appearance of the conservation area. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised subject to a revised plan incorporating areas of a different surface, and conditions to secure materials. SOLIHULL METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL Conservation Advice Address: 22 Ashleigh Road Solihull Description: Resurfacing of gravel drive with black tarmac Ref No: 2007/1296 Works of this nature within a Conservation Area can give cause for concern due to their cumulative impact on the character and appearance of the Area in question. Several properties in Ashleigh Road have already had their drives resurfaced with unsympathetic materials and it is important that their detrimental effect is held in check. Although gravel drives are among the more sympathetic surfaces within an historic setting, I appreciate that problems exist in this particular case as the gravel was not laid and contained satisfactorily. This situation could be remedied, but, if a black tarmac surface is preferred, this should provide an acceptable alternative once it has weathered in colour and thereby appears less intrusive. As the intention is to alter the shape and planting of the flower beds, then I would recommend that the applicant considers a combination of tarmac and gravel and/or paving to delineate the parking and planting areas of the forecourt. This will soften the impact of the tarmac, add some texture and variety, complement the planting scheme, ensure any gravel areas are kept in place and also provide a more attractive and appropriate frontispiece to the house. Recommendation No objection to the proposed replacement surface but would recommend that the applicant explores a more imaginative combination of appropriate materials in discussion with the planning officer to soften the impact of the tarmac area on the front elevation of the house and on the Conservation Area. Catherine Gordon Conservation Consultant . Berkswell Conservation Area Application No.: 07/ 1446 Location: Berkswell School, Church Lane Proposal: Extension to playground Site Description The application site is located to the north of the school, beyond the conservation area boundary. It is separated from the listed building (the original school) by modern additions to the building. Cottages in Church lane bordering the green are also listed grade II. Proposal This application proposes new areas of tarmac to provide further hard play area and a proper surface to the waiting area for parents collecting their children. Appraisal I consider that the additional tarmac areas would not compromise the character or appearance of the adjacent conservation area, or the setting of the somewhat distant listed buildings. The new hard surface area adding to the playground constitutes only approximately five per cent of the area of the new playing pitch created last year to the west of the school. A grassed area would still remain to its west, and the new pitch replaces this altogether for sports purposes. The parents waiting area and adjacent paths replace areas of gravel or worn grass on “desire lines” for pedestrians. Given that the areas of new tarmac would fall adjacent to and between other areas of the same surfacing, I do not consider that they would produce a detrimental impact. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised to the proposed additional hard surfaces subject to a condition requiring protection of any adjacent trees during work. Granville Road, Dorridge Conservation Area Application No.: 07/ 1501 Location: 24 Gladstone Road Proposal: Re-modelling and extension of house Site Description The house lies on the north side of the road, outside but adjacent to the conservation area. It is a 1960s detached house, with shallow pitched concrete tiled ridge roof, gables to front and rear, flat roofed double width garage, wide window modules and shiplap cladding to the first floor. 26 to the west is an identical house. An application to completely re-model it to form a white painted rendered box with glass atrium to rear was reported to you in the spring. That was later withdrawn. Proposal This application can be split into two parts. The first proposes a substantial addition above the garage, which is not adjacent to the conservation area boundary, but which would impact upon views into and out of it. This would form a master bedroom, en suite bathroom, and fifth bedroom. The second part is the removal of the pitched roof over the two-storey part of the house, and its replacement with a low-pitched roof covering both the existing and new first floor rooms. Horizontal boarding is indicated as a cladding material for the re-modelled house at first floor level, and white painted render for the new first floor walls, and all ground floor walls. Detailing for the boarding fixtures and joints, glazing junctions and framing, flat roof treatment and drainage are all now indicated on the plans or supplementary drawings. Appraisal The proposed additions and re-modelling would alter the appearance of the house to a less radical extent that than the previous proposals forming a flat roofed box. The impact of this new design would not be so extensive as to create a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the adjacent conservation area. The drawings include much information on details critical to the success of this type of contemporary development, and the application is of good quality with a thorough Design and Access statement. The side elevations are both provided this time. Your Consultant Conservation Architect considers that the scheme is broadly acceptable. However, he has raised concerns regarding the shallow roof pitch. This appears too low for slates, and he suggests that it be increased to 21 degrees. In addition, the use of large areas of white painted render is considered too strident for this position adjacent to such a dignified conservation area. A more muted cream colour is suggested, and this could be agreed under a materials and finishes condition. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised subject to the imposition of conditions to secure the agreement of all colours, finishes, boarding type and dimensions, hard and soft landscaping, as the proposed building would then not adversely affect the character of the adjacent conservation area. CONSERVATION CONSULTATION – 07/1501 – 24 GLADSTONE ROAD, DORRIDGE. In response to your consultation and new drawings dated 10 th. July, I have considered the proposals and can comment as follows:- Existing Situation (repeated from my 13/04/07 report) The present house is a typical 1970’s sub-urban estate house – two-storey detached with a large single-storey flat-roofed garage and kitchen extension to the north-west side - which also wraps round the front of the house over an entrance and lounge extension. It is of brick construction with a tile-hung gable facing the rood. The main roof is a low double-pitch with concrete pan tiles. The house is set back off the road and has a large rear garden. Nos. 26 and 28 are of similar architectural style. The existing house is of little architectural merit and contributes little to the character and quality of Gladstone Road as a whole. However, the house and its grounds lie on the boundary of the proposed Granville Road Conservation Area and any extensions or external alterations will have an effect upon the form and character of the street in this area. Comment upon the Proposals This revised scheme details a garage and kitchen area over-built first floor, the existing rear study extension demolished and a 1.3m deep rear extension across the rear - and a complete re-modelling of the house to create a large 2-storey low-pitch-roofed house of post-modern design. The external walls are proposed to be white-painted render with natural timber horizontal weather-boarding to some of the first floor wall areas. The roof is a 16 degree double-pitched slated roof enclosed with plain parapet walls all round. The windows and external doors are all natural-finish timber. The re-modelled house will have a ridge height similar to the existing. There are no details of any changes to the garden hard landscaping or boundaries. Conclusions and Recommendations My initial reaction, again, is that this new design will be quite out off keeping with the large brick and tile Edwardian houses of this area (which will be protected by the proposed new conservation area) however the existing house has little to contribute to the predominant character of Gladstone Road. I therefore consider that a bold modern design would not be out of place on this site. The submitted drawings do not clearly demonstrate how this scheme would look in the streetscape. A full street elevation – including no.26 Gladstone road and the side of no.12 Granville Road – and trees and hedges etc…would be very useful. The scheme architectural detailing appears to be crisp and neat but it could be just ‘simplified’ on these drawings. I am concerned that the roof pitch will be far to low for slates and may need to be changed to a profiled sheeting – which would not be acceptable in this location. The roof pitch could be increased to about 21 degrees without restricting the accommodation – then a large ‘reproduction’ blue slate could be used. The large areas of white-painted render may be a bit strident for this area – a softer cream colour finish would be better. I consider that this scheme could work with the external finishes and some of the architectural detail resolved. If you require further advice or explanation, please do not hesitate to contact me. Yours sincerely, Richard A. Crook Application No.: 07/1178 Location: 12 Granville Road Proposal: Ground floor extension to form double garage with storeroom above, covered way and utility Site Description The application site occupies a corner plot on the junction of Granville Road with Gladstone Road, Dorridge. The application property is a two-storey with attic semi-detached dwellinghouse. To the rear of the house are outbuildings and conservatory and to the side a recently added single storey extension. A brick wall with capping forms part of the north west boundary of the site. Wooden fence panels/close board fencing fronted with mature hedge forms the remaining boundaries to the site. The site is located within the Granville Road Conservation Area. Proposal This application was reported to your meeting in June. It seeks planning permission for a ground floor extension to form a double garage with storage space above, covered way with utility room, and boundary wall. The boundary wall was objected to in June, and has now been withdrawn. The proposed garage would be located adjacent to the north west boundary of the site measuring 5.9m by 5.6m with half-hipped roof over. Two hipped dormers would be formed on the south east facing roof slope to serve the internal storage area. The garage would be linked to an existing link corridor with small section of covered way and utility room. Appraisal The proposed double garage was previously excessive in scale, and would have had a dominant impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. The design of the half-hipped roof to the garage would appear to reflect design references on site such as the existing single storey side extension. The reduction in width, depth and height has created an acceptable building. For the reasons outlined above I consider that the proposed extensions would now produce no negative impact upon, and would therefore preserve, the character and appearance of the conservation area. Recommendation I recommend that an objection be raised due to the scale and design of the proposed garage and to the height and extent of the brick wall and loss of vegetation to the front boundaries of the site. Knowle Conservation Area Application No.: 07/ 1588 Location: Jet Garage, 32 Kenilworth Proposal: Installation of jet wash Site Description The garage is located at the junction with Cooks Close. It dates form the 1980s. The site is identified as an Opportunity Site by the draft Knowle Conservation Area Appraisal, as the building is of no value to the character or appearance of the conservation area. To the north, the cottages on the opposite side of Kenilworth Road are included on the Council’s Local List. The cottage to the west is on that list too. To the east, the cottages are noted as Important Buildings. Proposal The proposed jetwash would be placed between the existing car wash building and the boundary with Cook Close. White-coated metal sheeting would form its outer screen wall, of three metres in height. To attempt to reduce noise the existing boundary wall and fencing would be modified. This would involve the extension in height of the brick pillars up to three metres, the extension of the fence height up to three metres, and the insertion in between the pillars of plywood sheets to the inner face. Appraisal The proposed jet wash machine and concrete surface would not adversely affect the character or appearance of the conservation area, as they lie within the site adjacent to an unsympathetic building and canopy. The adverse impact of the development of the petrol station was limited by modest screening fencing of a greater than domestic scale, 2.4 metres in height, as exists now. To modify this adding a quarter as much height again to reach a height of three metres over this length of exposed boundary would have a negative impact upon the appearance and character of this part of the conservation area. Capping the new fence top with aluminium section would seem likely to exacerbate the adverse effect. Whilst it is an internal view, the use of plywood sheet for the inner face of the sandwich would be likely to create an appearance of a temporary building site hoarding, clashing with the more suitable herringbone pattern boarding of the exterior face. Recommendation I recommend that an objection be raised to the negative impact of the metal screen and increase of the fencing height as these would detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area. Olton Conservation Area Application No.: 07/ 1423 Location: Land adjacent 93 Grange Road Proposal: Erection of five-bedroom dwelling Site Description This site is located on the south side of the road, close to the junction with Kineton Green and St. Bernard's Roads. It is within the Olton Conservation Area and is part of the site of The Grange, where recently approved housing is now under construction. The site is the entrance point to the conservation area when approaching from the east along Grange Road, and the relatively generous frontage depth of 93 Grange Road allows a clear view of the site. Proposal This application seeks planning consent for a new dwelling on the frontage of the site, which was retained by the approved scheme as an open area preserving some of the most readily visible setting of the late 19th century house. Appraisal The additional dwelling would create a negative impact upon the character of this part of the conservation area. This would result from the loss of much of the respectful gap separating The Grange from the nearest dwelling at 93 Grange Road, and the new dwellings to its rear. Whilst the new dwellings as approved would clearly erode much of the rearmost generous garden setting of The Grange, the retention of this space at the road side would limit the impact and the approved scheme was therefore considered acceptable. To develop a further large house within the space would create an impression of over-development of this prominent plot, cramping, and therefore producing a negative impact upon, The Grange. Although the approved scheme agreed the removal of unsympathetic extensions from the house (now implemented), as well as new additions to its rear, this would not prevent the proposed new dwelling having the negative impact described. Recommendation I recommend that an objection be raised as the proposal would produce a negative impact upon and would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area. Application No.: 07/ 1422 Location: 7 Woodshires Road Proposal: Two-storey extension Site Description The application site is located within the area identified in the Olton Conservation Area appraisal as Neutral, between St. Bernard’s and Kineton Green Roads. This indicates that they are not dwellings stylistically typical of the conservation area historic buildings, but good design is still required for additions and replacements. The house is a detached property from the 1960s, with a shallow pitched tiled roof forming gables to the road and garden. Proposal This application proposes a two-storey addition to the side of the house, on an open corner. The ground floor would project out a little further than the side wall of the first floor rooms, a monopitch roof running along the side wall to cover this projection. Appraisal I consider that the proposed extension would produce a negative impact upon this part of the conservation area due to its excessive two-storey scale. The screening value of the hedge of a little more than two metres in height is acknowledged, but this would in no way overcome the significant impact of the first floor element of this excessive addition. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised subject to condition to secure materials, colours and finishes. I recommend that an objection be raised, as this substantial addition would produce a negative impact upon the character of this part of the conservation area. Application No.: 07/ 1520 Location: 130 Kineton Green Road Proposal: Change of use from offices to office and retail shop Site Description The application site is located opposite Chestnut Close, and is one half of a terrace of late 19th century cottages. They are built of painted brick, with low- pitched slated roofs, and prominent chimney stacks. It is included within the list of Important Buildings in the Olton Conservation Area appraisal, described as a “ shop with interesting corner window”. Proposal This application proposes a two-fold use of the ground floor of the property to change from its previous use as a central heating contractors offices and showroom. The office use is proposed in the right hand portion of the front unit, and behind too. The retail unit is proposed in the left half of the front area only. Appraisal I consider that the proposed use would create no more impact upon the character and appearance of the conservation area than the former use. That generated staff and customer parking, as well as visits by gas fitters vehicles. The change of use to class B1 offices approved in 2005 has not been implemented, but would also generate no fundamentally different levels of activity and vehicle flows. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised. Application No.: 07/ 1445 Location: 49a St. Bernard's Road Proposal: Extensions Site Description This site is located on the west side of St. Bernard's Road. It is within the Olton Conservation Area, and is not identified as an Important Building with in the Character Appraisal. The house dates from the 1970s and is of a less-than- sympathetic design in this predominantly late 19th and early 20th century road. Proposal This application seeks planning consent for a two-storey addition. It is a reduced version of the scheme objected to early this year. Appraisal The additions would now be in proportion with the house. The forward projection has been reduced, and the overall ridge heights reduced to a subservient level. In addition, the roof style over the principal bedrooms is now of a more subdued hipped design, reducing the impact of the proposals significantly. They would therefore no longer create a negative impact upon the character of the conservation area. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised subject to a condition to agree materials and finishes, as the proposal would then produce no negative impact upon, and would therefore preserve, the character of the adjacent conservation area. Solihull Conservation Area Application No.: 07/ 1645 Location: 21 Poplar Road Proposal: New fascia and projecting signs Site Description The application site is the former Council House, recently occupied as a public house called Bar Censa. The later 19th century neo-classical building in red brick with feature band courses, sash windows, and a generally imposing presence makes a strong contribution to the character of this part of the conservation area. Its design, scale and materials still confidently express the municipal pride of the late Victorian era. Proposal This application proposes four elements. The first is individual letters stating the name “The Assembly Rooms”. The second is a projecting sign on a metal bracket. The others are a menu box and amenity board respectively. The lettering is shown to be constructed from stainless steel with a grey coating, mounted on plastic bases internally illuminated to create halo lighting around each letter. The projecting sign would consist of a timber board with applied letters and a pictorial detail to be confirmed. Illumination is proposed, in the form of small downlighter troughs mounted on the bracket. The menu box would have a stainless steel frame and glass front, and the amenity board painted timber. The menu box would be internally lit, and the amenity board externally lit. Appraisal The proposed lettering is of acceptable materials, but would create an unfortunate unbalanced impact upon the front elevation of this important building. Locating it between the window heads and the coved detail expressing the first floor level is sensible in terms of avoiding damage to fabric other than bricks. However, it creates an asymmetrical element that conflicts with the strict symmetry of the intact original design of the building. I consider that the only opportunity for lettering announcing the venue would be applied characters within the pointed window above the central front doors. The projecting sign is reasonably restrained and would perform the advance notification to customers that the removal of the external lettering would justify. The menu box would have internal lighting presumably by a tube above the contents, but confirmation is awaited. Details of the lighting for the amenity board area awaited. The illustrative example is excessive in content for an outdoor sign on an important building within a conservation area. Menu times could be within the menu box, and the smoking area advisory is now superfluous. Further details of this sign are also requires prior to determination. Additional details of services can be displayed on a board within the porch for customers to view during opening hours. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised subject to the deletion of the external lettering, and a condition to secure materials, colours and finishes for the projecting sign. White House Way Conservation Area Application No.: 07/ 1484 Location: 12 White House Way Proposal: Replacement of timber and glass porch panels with PVCu Site Description The application site occupies a position at the head of a cul-de-sac, adjacent to the northern boundary of the conservation area. The property is a two-storey detached house with part integral part attached double garage to the front. The site is located within the White House Way Conservation Area and subject to an Article 4 (2) Direction. Proposal This application seeks planning consent to replace the front and side infill panels of the porch. These are currently timber framed and single glazed, as per the original design. There is no proposal to replace either the door or the existing PVCu cladding above the two side panels. The new framework is proposed in white PVCu, corresponding to that already fitted at many other properties within the conservation area. Appraisal The replacement infill panels would be acceptable, as the altered appearance would have a limited impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. Your Conservation Consultants view is awaited, and will be advised at your meeting. It is my opinion that the proposals would not create any negative impact upon the character or appearance of this part of the conservation area. Recommendation I recommend that no objection be raised.
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