Monday, 25 March 2013

Council votes no to Western Road development

I'm very grateful to my colleagues on the council's planning committee for voting this afternoon against an application to build two three bedroom homes at the junction of Western Road and Carboth Lane.

The application would have seen the excavation of huge amounts of soil, the construction of a massive retaining wall and two houses being built up against the wall.

The two concerns I expressed to the committee were:

- that the construction of a retaining wall would threaten the safety of the main road into the town. I know that the council's highways department had concerns and were asking for a separate application before work could begin. Although I am sure that both the council and the applicant would have made sure the desperate problems of Looe would have been avoided, there is always a concern when large excavations are carried out;

- that the properties would have little or no amenity space (planner jargon for garden). The proposal would have seen no back windows on the ground floor of the houses and a 14 foot wall as close as 4 feet behind the houses on the upper floor. The amount of sunlight reaching the terrace at the back could have been measured in muted per day, even in summer.

The committee is not saying 'never' to the concept of any development on the site, but this application was refused on the basis of bad design and lack of amenity as well as concerns over structural security.

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