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Waverley Borough Council approve “well designed” scheme for remodelling adjacent to Conservation Area

Despite being called to the local area Planning Committee after pressure from one of the local councillors (because they lived next door and objected to the scheme for numerous reasons, none of which were upheld) the Waverley Borough Council Planning Committee this evening unanimously approved the proposed planning application for the two storey side and rear extensions and internal remodelling of a property in central Farnham.

The scheme was given full backing by the planning officers, describing it as meeting the requirements of Policy HE8 requiring developments adjacent to Conservation Areas “to be of a high standard to ensure that the design is in harmony with the characteristic form of the area and surrounding buildings”. The Planning Officer’s report went on to state that the proposal was “well designed and consistent with the Councils SPD and Farnham Design Guide.”  Discussing the objections on ‘overdevelopment’, ‘impact on the Conservation Area’, ‘loss of light and overshadowing’ and ‘overlooking’ raised by the the neighbouring councillor the planning officer reported that the “officers were unable to share [those] concerns”.

The completely unnecessary delay to the project while it was brought to committee has not deterred our client who will now push on quickly with the development having already secured Building Regulations approval through the use of an Approved Inspector.

What would have happened if the Localism agenda held sway – would one person’s opinion have railroaded our clients chance to improve their property? Is this really a democratic way to decide things?