Controversial plans for house in Sunderland garden allowed after inspector upholds appeal

Plans to build a detached home in a Sunderland suburb have been given the stamp of approval by a Government-appointed planning inspector.

By Chris Binding
Thursday, 9th June 2022, 12:40 pm

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Back in 2021, Sunderland City Council’s Planning and Highways (East) Committee refused an application for land at a property in The Broadway in the Grindon area.

The application proposed the erection of a two-storey detached property in a rear garden facing onto Grindon Gardens.

However, the application was referred to the Planning and Highways (East) Committee by local ward councillors following a number of objections from neighbours who were unhappy with the plans on a number of grounds.

The meeting was held at City Hall.

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Upon being put to the vote at a meeting on November 1, 2021, the application was refused by the committee, with a narrow majority of councillors voting against the advice of council planning officers who had recommended approval.

A decision notice issued by the local authority said the development’s form and scale was considered to be “uncharacteristic of the street scene [and] detrimental to levels of residential and visual amenity.”

Following the refusal, the applicant lodged an appeal and planning inspector C Coyne was appointed by the Secretary of State to rule on the matter.

After considering submitted evidence, the planning inspector allowed the appeal in late-April 2022 and granted planning permission for the development.

An appeal decision report said the proposed dwelling would be “in keeping with the size, style [and] layout of the dwellings nearby” and therefore the plans should be allowed to go ahead.

The planning inspector’s report reads: “The proposed dwelling would be of size, type and style like these other properties and would also front onto Grindon Gardens in the same way.

“The proposal’s materials would also be very similar to the external material finishes of these nearby properties.

“Furthermore, the proposal’s front garden/drive and rear garden would also be comparable to those of these nearby properties.

“Consequently, and based on the evidence before me, including the submitted plans, I consider that the proposal would be in keeping with the size, style [and] layout of the dwellings nearby and that its position in relation to the site and its plot to building ratio would also be in keeping with the prevailing pattern of development in the area.

“For similar reasons I also consider that the proposal would not constitute over development of the appeal site.

“I therefore conclude that the proposed development would not materially harm the character and appearance of the area.”

The planning inspector also noted local objections had been raised during the council’s planning consultation about drainage, loss of privacy and highway safety.

However it was noted that there was “no substantive evidence […]to suggest that the proposal would cause any unacceptable harm in relation to these matters.”

The planning inspector added that concerns about potential noise and disturbance during the proposal’s construction could be mitigated by conditions restricting hours of construction and delivery activities.

A full appeal decision report can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website by searching under appeal reference: APP/J4525/W/22/3290599