It is highly regrettable that advice of this application (dated 2.08.18) was not made known to local residents and no public notice had been posted on the front of the building (a requirement which should have beem met by the applicant). A number of residents discovered simply by word of mouth. Nevertheless, we are where we are and time is now very limited as representations must be submitted by 19.09.18. This said, we are aware that late submissions will be considered provided they are received before determination.
Whilst LoSRA will be opposing this application, it is essential that all interested parties make their views known, no matter how briefly, by going to: Spelthorne Planning Applications Online, and search for Dart House. Application 18/01186/FUL.
The grounds on which our opposition is being formulated will include the following:
Adequacy of Parking/Loading/Turning
LOSRA understands that, in accordance with the Supplementary Planning Document 2011 on parking standards, a development of this size outside a town centre should include provisions for at least 12 off-street parking spaces. This proposal shows six underground parking bays, accessible via a lift/turntable system from street level. This is clearly woefully inadequate and non-compliant with planning guidance. Options for on-street parking simply don’t exist in this locality.
Design, Appearance and Materials
Whilst the architectural sketches make selected reference to the existing street scene, and the potential reuse of original brickwork, the concept design clearly demonstrates a desire to introduce modern features to the building façade including:
- Anodised aluminium window frames, panels and dormer cheeks
- Obscure anodised aluminium panelling
- Rendered diagonal recessing
- Shuttered ( presumably metallic) garage doors
- LOSRA believes that these architectural features would be totally incongruous with the surrounding street scene, and the adjoining properties.
Effect on Conservation Areas
The Lower Sunbury Conservation Area is a special feature of our village, and is dear to the hearts of our residents. This site is the first riverside architectural feature on the western aspect of the Conservation Area and therefore defines the character and appearance which LOSRA endeavour to preserve. Furthermore, with the site being situated on the bank of the river Thames, and adjacent to Flower Pot Green, it is part of a vista that has been celebrated in photographs and painting (Daphne Clements amongst others). Accordingly, we believe the site must be protected from this type of development, and that the proposal to demolish the building in these circumstances is wholly inappropriate for the Conservation Area.
Effect on Listed Buildings
Unsurprisingly, due to its prominent location within the Conservation Area, this site is adjacent to a cluster of listed buildings, including The Flower Pot Pub, Northolt, Thames Cottage and Riverside House. The site is also in the immediate vicinity of the grade II listed St Mary’s Church, The Old Vicarage, Old Manor Farm Cottage and Sunbury Nursing Lodge.
Policy EN5 (f) requires “development proposals for any sites affecting the setting of a listed building to have special regard to the need to preserve its setting.” The appearance of the proposed building will destroy the current visual balance of the approach into Sunbury from the West: it has no relationship to the Flower Pot or any of the other buildings in the street, let alone as part of the framing for a view of the church. The proposed design is both highly obtrusive and out of character and harmony within the conservation setting.
This property is directly alongside a busy roundabout, where unfortunately there have been a large number of accidents, including a recent pedestrian fatality. LOSRA encourage both the County Highways Authority and the Planning Officer to consider the proposal very carefully. LOSRA believe that the proposed development is both impractical and unsafe.
Layout and density of buildings
The development plans present a much larger building than the existing property, both in terms of footprint and the height. LOSRA believes this constitutes a substantial overdevelopment of the site that would significantly increase the density of buildings within that corner of the Lower Sunbury Conservation Area.
Overbearing & Overshadowing
Policy EN1 (b) requires that the building “achieves a satisfactory relationship to adjoining properties avoiding significant harmful impact in terms of loss of privacy, daylight or sunlight, or overbearing effect due to bulk and proximity of outlook.”
This proposal represents a drastic increase of both the footprint and the height of the building. We believe that this would have a negative impact on the relationship with adjoining properties. We also submit that, given the site location and orientation relative to Flower Pot Green, the building would have a harmful impact on the amount of sunlight reaching important designated common land within the Lower Sunbury Conservation Area.
Previous planning decisions
A pertinent comment on a previous proposal for developing the site, made by the Council’s (then) Listed Buildings and Conservation Officer: “We have particular concern about the starkness of the proposed building and in particular the modern designed roof…” The sentiment is every bit as valid in respect of the proposed development.
We are at pains to point out that our Association is not necessarily opposed to the development of this site; but what is proposed in this application represents an over-development in scale which is completely out of sympathy with the street scene and out of character in the Lower Sunbury Conservation Area.