3) Impact on adjacent residential properties
Relationship with existing buildings
The proposed apartment block would be positioned to the rear of the listed buildings fronting Gateacre Brow and located adjacent to the boundary with the properties fronting Halewood Road. It was acknowledged in the 2006 scheme that the proposed development failed to achieve the minimum interface distances with the rear elevation of properties on Halewood Road (14m) and therefore in assessing this proposal, discussions have taken place between officers and the architect with regard to improving the relationship. As a result, the eastern section of the proposed building has been moved further away from the boundary between the application site and St Stephe ns Court. The interface distances that are now achieved between the rear of St Stephens Court and the proposed apartment block is approximately 17.5m, which is very slightly below the recommended distance of 18m as stated in SPG10.
The Interim Head of Planning is therefore of the opinion that whilst acknowledging that the outlook for the residents of St Stephens Court will change, he does not consider that the proposed development would form an overbearing feature or create any overlooking (as only obscure glazed windows in the elevation facing St Stephens Court) which would be detrimental to the residential amenity of occupiers of that property.
With regard to the relationship between the proposed apartment block and the other surrounding residential properties, the Interim Head of Planning is generally satisfied that bearing in mind oblique angles and interface distances achieved, the proposal would not have an overbearing or over dominant effect.
The impact on the surrounding residential properties was considered at length by the Head of Planning during the assessment of the 2006 scheme, when it was concluded that although the proposed new apartment block was three storeys with an overall height of 9.8m, the building would not be dissimilar in height to the adjacent listed buildings which occupy the frontage of the site.
Concerns have been expressed by local residents with regards to the current proposal creating overshadowing. In considering this scheme, the Interim Head of Planning has re- examined this aspect bearing in mind the concerns of local residents for this revised proposal. The 2006 scheme examined the daylight/sunlight patterns in relation to the siting of the proposed buildings and concluded that any shadow cast during the morning would be mainly confined to land contained within the centre of the site but acknowledged that some overshadowing would occur to the areas at the rear of properties on Halewood Road during the afternoon period. With particular regard to the area at the rear of St Stephens Court, it was concluded in 2006 that this area would have likely been overshadowed by the existing conifers which are approx. 4m in height as well as the former industrial buildings which formerly occupied this part of the site.
Although the current proposal has a maximum height of 10.4m, which is approx. 0.6m higher than the 2006 proposal, the increased height is on the eastern part of the building which is further away from the boundary with the properties fronting Halewood Road and therefore any overshadowing will not be any greater than that accepted in the originating scheme.
Overall, the Interim Head of Planning acknowledges that the proposed apartment block would still create some overshadowing, which during the winter months may be prolonged, however has reached the same conclusions as that of the 2006 scheme, that the degree of overshadowing is not unduly detrimental to the amenity of the residents in the adjacent properties.
Continued . . .