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Agenda item

APPLICATION NUMBER: PL/2022/00133 - Gardners Cottage, Pound Street, Ebbesbourne Wake

Proposed alterations and extension to existing dwelling.


Public Participation

Lisa Jackson (Agent) spoke in objection to the application

Annie Parnell (Chalke Valley Preservation Society) spoke in objection to the application

David Warder spoke in objection to the application

Andy Turner (Agent) spoke in support of the application.

Paul Sampson (Chairman) spoke on behalf of Ebbesbourne Wake Parish Council


The Officer summarised the late correspondence which had been circulated at the meeting. This included an update on works which had already been carried out on the site, including the installation of gates and the formation of a gravelled parking and turning area at the front of the dwelling and the associated Highways response and amended conditions.


The Planning Team Leader, Richard Hughes presented the application which was for the proposed alterations and extension to an existing dwelling.


The existing dwelling had been built in around the 1960s. Presentation slides indicating the street scene were explained, in particular the height difference between the current single storey property to the neighbouring dwellings which ranged in type, size and height.


It was explained that the proposed alterations and extension would retain the same footprint, with an increase in height of up to 7.5m to the ridge of the new roof. The extension was shown on the presentation to be at the rear of the property.


The Officer noted concerns raised around drainage and clarified that the drainage issue in the area appeared to be ground water related, and as such it was not felt that extending the dwelling would make an increased difference to the drainage for the area, when there was already a dwelling on the site.


The Officer also highlighted that there had been suggestions that a bat survey should be carried out. He went on to explain that when assessing an application for alterations and an extension to an existing dwelling, a foundation checklist was used which indicated that a bat survey was not required. However, the Officers had asked the application to carry out a bat survey and in response had received photographic evidence detailing inside the existing roof void, which was noted as being of fairly new construction. It was the Officers opinion therefore that there was no need to ask for a bat survey in this instance.


The application was recommended for Approval with conditions as set out in the report attached to the agenda and the late correspondence.


Material considerations were:


·         Principle of development

·         Design, impact on Conservation Area/listed buildings and the AONB

·         Impact on amenity

·         Parking/Highways Impact;

·         Ecological Impact/River Avon Catchment Area/drainage/flooding


The report noted that there had been 63 letters of objection, in addition, the Parish Council also object to the proposal.


Members then had the opportunity to ask technical questions of the Officer, where it was clarified that the report when first published had contained an erroneous paragraph, under the conclusion section, which mentioned refusal, however in the Recommendation section the correct text was included and detailed that the application was recommended for approval with conditions by Officers.


It was noted that this discrepancy had previously been corrected online, however printed copies of the agenda which were produced prior to the correction being made had been circulated at the meeting, and as such the Committee was asked to disregard any reference to refusal which appeared in the text of the printed packs or in earlier downloaded versions of the report. The Committee agreed to base its considerations on the Officer recommendation of Approval.


A question was asked on the difference between the ridge height of the proposed alteration to that of neighbouring properties. The Officer noted that the calculation was not available at the meeting, however given the age of the dwelling he estimated the ridge height to be 6.5m, and that as a street scene had not been provided by the applicant, he would again have to estimate that the proposed would be slightly higher than that of Ebble cottage.


The proximity of the main part of Gardeners Cottage to the side wall of Ebble cottage to the boundary of the proposed dwelling was described as being approximately 5-6m. The distance between the properties when including the existing garage was much narrower at approximately 1.5 to 2 metres.


The Officer explained that the request of SCC for the removal of Permitted Development rights, was not included in the conditions as the application was not for a new dwelling and therefore the existing dwelling already had some permitted development rights.


Members of the public as detailed above, then had the opportunity to speak on the application.


Some of the main points in objection included suggestions of a lack of attention to detail within the report, specifically with regards to there being no plan to scale or a structural survey.


The opinion that the works to the roof amounted to a re-build as opposed to alterations was presented, as such it was suggested that the incorrect policy had been used when assessing the application.


Comments on the Ecologists considerations not having included bats or flooding and impact on environment and community, were made.


Concerns around the reduction in availability of a small dwelling in the village were also presented.


The increased size of the proposed alterations and extension, increased water run-off and flood protection measures were noted.


The height and scale of the proposals were also considered to be too large, with comments referencing a 197% increase in size.


The Agent raised points in support of the application, noting that the applicant and his family had lived and ran a business in the valley for 7 years and had a large client base locally.


It was noted that an earlier application for a 2-storey extension had been amended to a single storey at the rear.  Confirmation that the existing walls would not be demolished was given.


It was stated that alternative developments could have been achieved under permitted development rights and that sympathetic materials would be used.


The Parish Council representative spoke in objection to the application, noting the high level of objections which had been submitted for a village of approximately 100 dwellings.


The Parish council objected to the application on the grounds of size, scale and the negative impact on the street scene.


Other points raised included the loss of a small dwelling from the village, the proximity to neighbouring properties, and the negative impact of the development on the structure of the bank to the Old School House property.


Local Member, Cllr Nabil Najjar, spoke to the application noting his thanks to the Officers for their impartial approach.


He referenced the high level of objections to the application out of a community of approximately 140 and noted their concerns around the impact the development would have.


Cllr Najjar noted his concerns regarding the impact of lighting to the  neighbouring property and in general in an AONB and conservation area.


He felt that the proposal amounted to a significantly larger dwelling than was currently in place, and such the development would transform the character of the current dwelling. He went on to suggest that the plot or the particular location in the village, was not suitable for the size of the proposed alterations.


He highlighted the objections of the parish council and the Preservation Society which had come together to object to the application. 


Cllr Najjar then moved the motion of Refusal in line with Officer recommendations, stating the reasons as overdevelopment of the site, adverse impact on the character of the wider conservation area and amenities of surrounding properties. In addition, he noted that the development would add to the existing drainage/flooding issues in the area. Reference was given to policies CP57, CP58, CP67 and H31 and C24.


This was seconded by Cllr Oliver.


The Committee was invited to discuss the application, the main points included

the over whelming objection of the residents in the village, the Parish Council and the Chalke Valley Preservation Society.


Members suggested the scale of the alterations and extension amounted to overdevelopment of the plot and noted that the rural location in the village was not suitable for the scale of the proposed development, particularly due to the sensitive surroundings of the conservation area.


One Member raised the point that that the application amounted to a new build more than alterations with an extension to an existing dwelling, however the Committee was guided by the Officer to consider the application as applied for, in line with the appropriate policies.


The Committee considered the varying plots and dwellings around the development site and the impact on the street scene. It was also noted that the individual circumstances of the applicant and his family were not a planning consideration nor was public opinion and that a decision must be made in line with relevant planning policy.


The Committee then voted on the motion of Refusal, for the reasons stated above.


It was;




That application PL/2022/00133 be Refused for the following reasons:


The extension and enlargement of the existing bungalow as proposed is considered to be a significant over-development of this small site, which would have an adverse impact on the character of the wider Conservation Area, and would also have an adverse impact on the amenities of adjacent properties, namely Ebble Cottage to the east, and the Old School House to the west. In the absence of further information, it is also considered that the proposal will be likely to exacerbate the existing ground water flooding problem within this area. The proposal would therefore be contrary to the aims of Wiltshire Core Strategy policies CP57, CP58, and CP67, including saved policies H31 and C24.


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