Agenda item

S113131/F and S113132/C - VICTORIA HOUSE, 149-153 EIGN STREET, HEREFORD, HR4 0AN

Erection of retirement living housing for the elderly (category II type accommodation), communal facilities, landscaping and car parking.


The application was refused in accordance with the Case Officer’s recommendation.


The Principal Planning Officer gave a presentation on the application and updates / additional representations received following the publication of the agenda were provided in the update sheet. He gave Members details in respect of the contribution for affordable housing offered by the applicant and advised that it was significantly lower than had been suggested by the independent District Valuer.


The Head of Neighbourhood Planning drew Members’ attention to paragraphs 6.37 – 6.39 of the report which advised that a verbal update would be provided to the Committee. He therefore advised that the issues of biodiversity and water quality did not warrant an additional reason for refusal.


In accordance with paragraph of the Council’s Constitution, Councillors JD Woodward and SM Michael, the local ward members, commented on a number of issues, including:


·         The application had little support from neighbouring residents or the nearby school.

·         The building, which hadlways been a prominent building in the area, was built in 1914 for then ten surgeon general.

·         The loss of the building would cause substantial harm to the conservation area.

·         The proposed design and layout of the proposed buildings would not enhance or preserve the area.

·         The proposal to include 17 parking spaces for all of the residents was unreasonable and would result in parking issue in the area.

·         The lack of affordable housing on the site was regrettable. The Rose Gardens development in Ledbury Road was highlighted as a good example which had included affordable housing.

·         The density and height of the proposed building was not in keeping with the surrounding area.

·         The application was also contrary to Unitary Development Plan Policies DR2 and S7.

·         The neighbouring residents had made it clear that they wished for the house to be retained.

·         The nearby Lord Scudamore school felt that the proposal would have a  detrimental effect on the school.


Members noted the comments of the local ward members and expressed their concern in respect of the proposed 17 parking spaces for the 40 dwellings. Further concern was expressed in respect of the proposed design of the development.


In response to a point raised by the Committee, the Development Manager (Northern Localities) advised that their concerns in respect of car parking provision as well as the impact on the nearby school had been noted and could be included within the reasons for refusal.


Councillors JD Woodward and SM Michael were given the opportunity to close the debate. They advised that their earlier comments remained but they had no further points to raise.




That in respect of DMS/113131/F that planning permission be refused for the following reasons:


1.         The proposal fails to make adequate provision for affordable housing. The local planning authority is not satisfied that the Affordable Housing and Viability Statement submitted in support of the application is sufficiently detailed and does not demonstrate that a provision of on-site affordable housing would be economically unviable, or that the low level of contribution proposed for an alternative off-site provision is warranted. In the absence of an on-site affordable housing provision or sufficient justification for non provision, or an equivalent off-site contribution, the proposal is contrary to Policy H9 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan.


2.         The proposal fails to demonstrate that there are sufficient public benefits to outweigh the loss of Victoria House as a building considered to be locally important.  By virtue of its detailed design, scale and mass, the proposed building does not respect or reflect the scale or pattern of development in this part of the conservation area, contrary to Policies DR1, HBA6 and HBA7 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan, or the guiding principles of the National Planning Policy Framework.


3.         In the absence of an agreed Draft Heads of Terms Agreement the proposal is contrary to Policy DR5 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan and the Council's adopted Supplementary Planning Document - Planning Obligations.


4.         The proposed development makes insufficient provision for off-street parking.  The local planning authority is not convinced by the applicant's justification for reduced parking levels within the site and considers that the proposal would lead to sporadic parking within the local road network and a consequent reduction in highway safety, contrary to Policies DR3 and T8 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan.


5.         By virtue of the scale, mass and close proximity of the building to the southern boundary of the site, the proposal will have an unacceptably overbearing effect on an area immediately adjacent within the grounds of Lord Scudamore Academy that is used for open-air-learning.  It is considered that this would prejudice the amenity and continued use of this area of land, contrary to Policy DR2 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan.



That in respect of DMS/113132/C that planning permission be refused for the following reason:


1.         In the absence of an approved scheme for the redevelopment of the site the demolition of the existing building is unwarranted and the clearance of the site would be detrimental to the character and local distinctiveness of the Conservation Area contrary to Policies HBA6 and HBA7 of the Herefordshire Unitary Development Plan.

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