The Planning Committee has allowed development to continue on a property on La Motte Street amid opposition from neighbours, who raised issues over an alleged overhanging balcony and inadequate “privacy screens”.
But the Committee said the issues raised about 20 - 24 Development Site on La Motte Street were “a civil matter” rather than something it should discuss during their meeting last week.
Representatives from Socrates Architects and Columbia Estates sought approval to continue amended works while neighbours voiced their opposition.
A resident from a nearby property, claiming to speak on behalf of others affected by the development as well as himself, claimed that intrusive divergences from the original plan constituted a “breach of planning”.
Pictured: Neighbours complained that "an echo chamber”, created by adjacent walls, had been contributing to a noise disturbance during development.
A range of issues were raised during the hearing, including what was described as an “illegal balcony overhang” which encroached on boundary walls. It was contended that this unplanned aspect of the development had caused privacy concerns, which had been compounded by a disagreement over a “privacy screen” which was believed to be more transparent and less prominent than initially agreed.
“An echo chamber”, created by adjacent walls, was also suggested to be contributing to a noise disturbance during development that had “begun to have an impact on the mental health of nearby residents”.
Refuting the claims, the applicants denied that there was any “ongoing legal dispute” and claimed that they had the “legal right” to build on the terrace where the overhang was observed.
Although some deviations from the original plan were admitted, these were deemed to be “small changes” that resulted from the nature of the build. It was noted that the “building was not entirely straight”, which led to adjustments being required during the construction process.
The Planning Committee eventually voted to conditionally approve the plans as presented by the applicant.
Although Deputy Jeremy Maçon disagreed with the decision, stating that neighbouring residents “had not been considered”, the Planning Committee decided by majority that the development had been carried out as per the original intentions of the plan.
It was decided that the issues that has been raised were a “civil matter, not aspects of planning”, as the Planning Committee focused on the consideration of plans themselves rather than “whether plans are built as approved”.
The Committee conceded that there should be adjustments made to the “privacy wall”, as the changes to the property dimensions had made it less fit for purpose than originally intended.
Although the applicants agreed to consider this request, some final concerns were raised that any increase to the size of the screen “may affect the structural integrity” of the underlying walls.
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