TrustNews March 2019
Planning Appraisal Group
lt is understandable that over the holiday period people would be thinking about things other than ways to modify their home. It is also the time when working people can take a break so our planning review panels were also able to take a bit of a break, but there has been some catching up to do since so for December to the end of February we have reviewed about 90 applications. Our panels are now meeting at the Heritage Centre on Thursday mornings. One trend we have noticed is that extensions are getting larger and more often hoping to go to two storeys. Boxy roof conversions often come under permitted development and when they do are beyond City Council control, so don't assume that every unsightly bit of roof development is their fault (even if it sometimes is).
We have seen a number of applications withdrawn before coming to the City Planning Committee. One which many will be familiar with was 10 Compton Road. Another was for new signage at Southgate Corner, 65 High Street. The Trust had objected to both of these. We had also objected to the proposed increase the number of occupants (from 6 to 8) at 44 Fromond Road which has been refused. On the other hand the quite large student housing proposal for 180 Greenhill Road has been permitted on appeal. The planning inspector did not think there would be a significant detrimental effect on the neighbourhood. It should be remembered that this is accommodation being provided by a private developer which is not necessarily supported by the University. However, proximity to the University is clearly a reason why this site might be found attractive. Such developments indicate the pressure placed on local housing demand by an increased student population, both in Winchester and in Southampton; and underscore the need for the City to include specific language on student housing in their current review of the Local Plan if not before.
The proposal for a hospice at Burrell House has finally been approved after discussion about the siting of a the lift, which is essential and unfortunately can only be accommodated by being put on the outside of the building, thus detracting somewhat from its character. We were not sure that this was the most appropriate site for a hospice because of its proximity to the very busy Romsey Road, but there is a real need for such a facility in Winchester and being close to the hospital had many obvious advantages.
There is another application which raises issues of concern to us. This is a proposal to develop the land adjacent to Stanmore Primary School. We have no objection to there being development on this site but we did object to the design and layout of the proposed scheme. In general we feel that much more attention should be paid to the design, layout and the efficient use of land available. Cramming as many (just) detached houses onto a site as possible makes little sense; better to make them well built and designed town houses with fewer external walls and thus better heat insulation. The orientation of buildings is also important if one is to have usable gardens, maximal passive heat gain from sunlight in the winter and minimal gain in the hottest part of the summer, but with effective roof space for solar panels/hot water heating. Of course houses also need to be attractive and imaginatively designed. The likely needs of residents should also be considered since older people's needs are different from those with young families and the facilities required for life in the City centre are not those required for developments on the edge of the City or in villages.