Councillors have approved the demolition of a bungalow in Caldy and its replacement with six apartments, despite concerns from local residents about over development.
The scheme includes 12 car and six cycle spaces – and brings to three the number of adjacent properties on Caldy Road bought up by Blueoak Estates and granted permission to become flats. In addition, the developer has also built six mews properties opposite, on the site of a former garage.
A previous proposal for the site, at number 11, was refused in 2021 due to its scale, height and siting, with the council’s decision later backed by an independent planning inspector.
However, planning officers said the grounds for refusal were largely removed when the council gave permission last December for Blueoak to build on the next door property, at number nine. As a result, they said the development did not need to be assessed against any impact on that property, because it is empty and due to be demolished for work to start on that scheme.
A petition signed by 37 people objected to the application on the grounds of over development and increased density. Local councillor, Jennifer Johnson argued the scheme would affect the outlook from side windows on the ground floor of number 13, which she said would lead “to a feeling of enclosure to the side of the house and the rear garden”.
The Planning Committee was told that officers considered the overall impact on the property at number 13 to be acceptable. Their report added: “Officers do not view the proposed development as at odds with the existing streetscene; particularly when viewed in tandem with the neighbouring sites approved for re-development.”
In their submission, Blueoak Estates said the development will be similar to the now completed Hildeburgh House at number seven (pictured, top). They added: “The apartments are of generous proportions to appeal as wide a demographic as possible; Blueoak have found that the size and level of accommodation proposed is particularly attractive to those looking to “rightsize” from larger family properties in the local area.
“The provision of 6 apartments on this site potentially releases the same number of family houses onto the market thereby releasing the pressure to build on the green fringes of the existing local settlements.”
Paul Nellist from Asteer Planning, advisors to Blueoak Estates, said the developer has responded to feedback from the previous refusal and believes the development is appropriate for the area. He added that it will be “high quality, energy efficient and accessible housing”, built by local contractors.
Concerns were raised by some members over the landscaping at the front, with Committee chair, Cllr Stuart Kelly, describing the greenery at number seven as “disappointing”. Following a discussion, the members of the committee were satisfied with a planning condition that the landscaping is agreed in writing with the council, and enforcement action taken if it is not implemented.
Cllr Steve Foulkes supported the proposal and said he believes that “all parts of the borough will be subject to types of application like this” as a result of the council’s decision to protect the green belt.
The scheme was approved unanimously.
Photo credit: Blueoak planning documents