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16/0568/FUL | Erection of dwelling following demolition of existing triple garage block. New vehicular access from highway to serve existing dwelling. | 4 Cavendish Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7US

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  • Total Consulted: 32
  • Comments Received: 7
  • Objections: 6
  • Supporting: 0
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5 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 05 May 2016

We live within 12 metres of the proposed development and are dismayed that the Council chose not to consult us.

The proposed development is a bulky modern building adjacent to a charming pair of buildings constructed in the 19th century as domestic offices -former stables and hayloft and outdoor servants cottages. The grand mansion which these humble dwellings were constructed to serve has long gone, but some of the original victorian garden with its mature trees remains, and the stables hayloft and cottages in their original garden setting are now of architectural, amenity and historic importance and should be safeguarded against inappropriate development.

We take the view that the proposal is too close to these existing buildings. They would be overshadowed by the new house, and the 150 year old apple tree located at the boundary of No 1 Hills Avenue with the proposed building could hardly be expected to survive its construction.

We therefore consider that planning permission should be refused under the terms of existing Local Plan Policy 3/10, and draft Policy 52, especially its provision for the retention of sufficient space around existing dwellings, in order to protect existing trees and the character of the local area.

1 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 05 May 2016

1 Hills Avenue
Cambridge CB1 7UY
May 4, 2016

Dear Madam/Sir

We are writing to you with regards the planning application 16/0568/FUL which we object to in the strongest possible terms. We live at no. 1 Hills Avenue and would be directly affected by the proposed development. We have a number of serious concerns, which we would like the Local Planning Authority to consider carefully:

1. The proposed development is two storeys high and located approximately 500mm from our common boundary. The scheme measures just under 6m in height. It would have an overbearing impact on our home, resulting in an unacceptable sense of enclosure. In this regard it would directly conflict with Policy 4.10 of the Local Plan which states that planning permission will not be permitted where development would result in an overbearing sense of enclosure.

2. The submitted plans do not correctly show the location of our property. The kitchen/dining area of our house is located much closer to the proposed new building than shown on the plans. Nor do the plans show the relationship between the height of the proposed building and our one-storey coach house (with hayloft). The coach house would be in very close proximity to the east-facing wall of the proposed building.

3. The proposed master-bedroom window (facing west) would overlook the only private part of our garden. Unlike our front garden, which is on the street, our back garden is private and is more often used by our family. It is not acceptable to have our main garden overlooked at such close quarters. It would lead to a loss of our privacy.

4. It is unclear from the submitted plans how the proposed works would impact on the very large 150-year-old apple tree on the southern boundary of the site. The tree report provided needs to clearly demonstrate that the tree, which is part of a Victorian orchard, would not be damaged. Even with conditions on the building work, the apple tree, which we professionally prune each year so that it is in excellent condition, may die as a consequence of the basement excavation so close to the property boundary.

5. It is also noted that the application is not accompanied by an ecology report.

6. The old coach house within our curtilage sits adjacent to the application site (within 4m) and is occupied for residential purposes as an annex by members of my family. The statement made in support of the planning application suggests that this property is not residential. It has always been occupied. The proposed scheme would have an uncomfortable visual relationship to this property. Indeed the modern look of the oprposed building would detract from the Victorian heritage of the coach house and number 3 Hills Avenue.

7. There is no structural information provided to show how the basement would be excavated, although it is within metres of our coach house, and right next to the Victorian brick wall on the boundary. The application drawings do not include a section showing the basement structure. The work involved in digging for a basement could have potentially disastrous consequences for our Victorian coach house and wall, both of which have no foundations and are very close to the proposed building site.

8. No daylight assessment is provided with regard to the proposed basement. The 'home' office will be starved of natural light. The proposed dwelling is primarily north facing, with no suitable garden provided (again contrary to policy 4.10 of the Local Plan).

9. The bin collection distances are contrary to the LPA's adopted guidance.

10. The comings and goings generated by development within this back land site, together with the shining of headlights and manoeuvring of cars, would result in harmful amenity impacts. Contrary to the statement made in the planning application, we can guarantee that the garages have not been used since our residency began in 1999.

11. It is material to note that the site was subject to a planning application in 1989 (C/0721/89) which was refused for a bungalow on the basis that the scheme was considered to result in an unacceptable loss of amenity to the surrounding residential properties by reason of increased noise, disturbance and loss of privacy. The same issues arise with this proposal but are even more problematic.

12. This development raises additional issues relating to the proposed scale and massing (over and above the issued flagged in the previous refusal). This might not be such an issue on a larger site, but our concerns are accentuated by the tight nature of the application site, and its uncomfortable physical relationship to nearby properties. This represents a very intrusive form of development, which would result in an unacceptable sense of enclosure to our garden and living accommodation, in a loss of privacy, in increased noise and disturbance, and would also have a harmful impact on the amenity of nearby dwellings, contrary to policies 3/4, 3/10 and 3/12 of the adopted Local Plan. Nor is it in the spirit of the 2014 Local Plan.

13. Our concerns regarding the overbearing impact of the proposed development can equally apply to no. 3 Hills Avenue. The sole amenity land of no. 3 would be directly affected by the proposed structure, which would be located hard onto the common boundary. In this context it is important to note that the roof pitch is steep and the scheme is in effect a full two storeys tall, again resulting in an overbearing relationship, but also leading to the overshadowing of the garden of no. 3.

In sum, there are a number of fundamental shortcomings with the application, resulting from the fact that the scheme represents overdevelopment. It is attempting to shoehorn a very large house into a tight area. Such overdevelopment would degrade the character of the neighbourhood and the houses on Hills Avenue.

4A Cavendish Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7US (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 05 May 2016

We wish to make the following points with regard to Application 16/0568/FUL

1. In 1989 the Council refused planning permission for a much more modest bungalow development on the same site at No 4 on the grounds that it constituted "backland development which would result in an unacceptable loss of amenity to surrounding residential properties by reason of increased noise, disturbance and loss of privacy." Nothing has changed with this new proposal. The conditions of the Local Plan 3/10a repeat the same principles: that "subdivision should not have an adverse impact on the amenities of adjacent properties through loss of privacy, loss of light an overbearing sense of enclosure and the generation of unreasonable levels of traffic or noise nuisance." The developers' Access and Design Statement refers to the impact of the proposed dwelling on adjacent properties at 6a Cavendish Avenue and 3 Hills Avenue, which it downplays, but makes no mention of the intersecting boundaries with three more properties: 1 Hills Avenue, 3 Cavendish Avenue and 4a Cavendish Avenue, all of which would be affected. For the addition of a single unit of housing stock and the commercial benefit of the owner of No 4, five adjacent properties will be affected to varying degrees.

2. The developers' Statement suggests that the parking arrangements for the development will "reduce the amount of existing car parking and traffic movements associated with the triple garage block and thus also enhance local residential amenity". This is not true. In fact any traffic associated with the development represent a 100% net increase in noise and movements. No vehicles have been driven down the side of no 4, and no use has been made of the triple garage block for at least 25 years. Vehicle access will increase pressure on Cavendish Avenue which is already congested to the degree that two vehicles cannot pass each other during the working day.

3. The contemporary style of the building is out of keeping with the area. The developers' Statement points out that the practice of erecting buildings of contemporary design is "established" in the area but evidences just three, none of which blend in at all with the buildings that surround them.

4. The Statement describes the proposed dwelling as forming part of a "small group of backland dwellings, including 6A Cavendish Avenue and 3 Hills Avenue". These are in fact the only two such dwellings in the vicinity, and 3 Hills Avenue, dating as it does from the late 19th century, can hardly be characterised as a backland dwelling. Nonetheless, the fact that these two properties already exist in the area does not provide justification for the construction of another; on the contrary, to introduce another dwelling into this small area would make it cramped.

5. The scale of the proposed dwelling is over-large relative to the size of the plot. While it may be lower in height than 1 and 3 Hills Avenue, 4 and 4A Cavendish Avenue, these properties are situated in larger grounds. The Local Plan 3/12a permits new buildings "where it can be demonstrated that they will have a positive [not just neutral or not negative] impact on their setting in terms of location on the site, height, scale and form, materials, detailing, wider townscape and landscape impacts and available views". It is very difficult indeed to see how the "site, layout and scale of the proposed dwelling forms a natural extension and addition to the small group of adjacent buildings and thus will form part of the local character" or how it will have any positive impact on its setting. The proposed development is disproportionate in every way: too high, too tight within its space and boundaries, and most certainly out of character with its neighbours.

4A Cavendish Avenue CB1 7US
5 May 2016

1 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 03 May 2016

4 Cavendish Avenue

I am writing as the long-term resident of the Coach House of Number 1 Hills Avenue which directly adjoins the proposed building site. The statement in the plans that the Coach House is unoccupied is a misrepresentation.

I strongly object to the proposal, which clearly contravenes the planning policy for Cambridge, as set out in the 2006 Local Plan and reinforced by the new 2014 Local Plan.

The relevant planning matters in my objection are the following:

The proposed building is too large for the site and clearly represents overdevelopment of the area, which consists predominantly of detached houses with gardens backing onto each other.

It is out of keeping with the adjoining Coach House, where I live, and the larger house at No. 3 Hills Avenue, both delightful mid-Victorian buildings of historic importance, which would both be ruined by being overshadowed by a 4-bedroom modern house. The over-large scale, "warehouse appearance" and inappropriate materials of the proposed house could not be said to represent a "natural extension of the small group of adjacent dwellings", as the plans state.

The proposed building would overshadow the Coach House, which is very close, just 4 metres from the proposed three-storey house. A large new building on my doorstep would box me in, leading to a substantial loss of privacy and light through the west-facing windows of the Coach House and to increased noise and disturbance from the four-bedroom house and two new cars to be parked there (no cars have parked in the derelict garages for many years). The loss of privacy would be especially acute in the gravel garden area in front of the Coach House, where I have a table and some chairs. This gravel area is the only garden amenity I have. It would be overshadowed by the proposed house and directly overlooked by its upper-storey window on the east side.

The proposed basement is of particular concern. The pile-driving may be damaging to the structure of the Coach House, which may not have sufficient foundations to bear the vibrations, potentially leading to subsidence and cracks in the Victorian walls.

The Victorian wall at the west door to the Coach House borders on the proposed building site. It may also be damaged by the pile-driving.

The digging for the basement will also endanger a beautiful 150-year-old apple tree directly adjoining the proposed building site in the garden of Number of 1 and visible from my windows at the Coach House.

The garden area to be lost to the proposed building represents an important environmental resource. It is a home and corridor to deer, foxes, hedgehogs and many birds. The proposal is not even accompanied by an ecological report, as one would expect for such a precious wildlife habitat.

The long drive from Cavendish Avenue to the proposed house is too narrow for emergency vehicles, increasing the risk of a fire spreading through what would be a tight cluster of adjoining houses if this new house should be erected.

For these reasons, I strongly believe that the proposal should be rejected. It contravenes a number of basic conditions in the existing Cambridge Local Plan, constituting over-development of the most insensitive kind.

As a blatant case of 'garden-grabbing' the proposal is even more at odds with the new 2014 Local Plan, which states: "6.38 Gardens are an important environmental resource and are a vital component of Cambridge's character, especially in its more verdant, arcadian quarters. They form part of an area's development pattern, providing a setting for buildings, which in turn informs the prevailing privacy and amenity enjoyed by residents. They provide a semi-natural habitat for local wildlife and corridors for the movement of wildlife through the urban environment."

A previous application for a bungalow on this same site was rejected (ref C/89/0721) on the grounds that it represented a "backland development and would result in an unacceptable loss of amenity to surrounding residential properties by reason of increased noise, disturbance and loss of privacy." Housing pressures have increased since then but the larger scale of this new proposal would have a far more negative impact on the adjoining properties and the local environment.

3 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Sat 30 Apr 2016

We strongly oppose the above planning proposal which we feel has inadequately taken into account the impact on our property adjoining the site (3 Hills Avenue).
Currently the site contains some unused and derelict garages and is extremely quiet and tranquil. If the proposed 2 storey plus basement house was built there, there would be an extremely detrimental effect on our own residential amenity, that of neighbours and on the character of the neighbourhood.
We set out our specific objections below, referring to the sections of the Cambridge Local Plan, 2006. We believe that this proposal is not in accordance with a number of its guidelines.
3/10 Sub-division of Existing Plots
a) have a significant adverse impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties through loss of privacy, loss of light, an overbearing sense of enclosure and the generation of unreasonable levels of traffic or noise nuisance;
Building a 2 storey plus basement house on this section of garden would have a huge impact on our already very limited amenity: our currently very private garden would lose both its sun and privacy. We only have a very small courtyard garden at the front of our house and no other amenity space for our family home. Our amenity and privacy will be massively eroded by an overbearing family house dominating and blocking light into the garden which is already tightly bounded by buildings on north and south. This proposal would block light also from the west, shading and reducing our enjoyment of the garden, particularly evening sunlight. This seems to us to be a very clear example of 'an overbearing sense of enclosure'.
We have only one very small landing window on the entire north side of our house and none on the east, meaning the only light comes from the south and the west. Building this house would have an enormous impact on the available light inside our house, rendering it even darker than it is currently.
The concession of no windows directly overlooking our property does very little to ameliorate the impact on our privacy. There is more to privacy than being directly overlooked- this development would completely box us in and prevent us from using our garden undisturbed. Additionally, we would overlook the new development from our bedroom on the west side.
The current garden site is green and tranquil. The introduction of a 4 bedroom house to this small rear garden space will introduce a much higher level of activity around our limited amenity space. We must highlight that the garages are currently not used for vehicles and have not been for decades, so it is very misleading for the plans to repeatedly state that the "level of traffic will be less than that that will be generated by the existing three car, triple garage block, thus ensuring a reduced level of traffic and noise nuisance". It will be quite the opposite.
The extra vehicular activity is a concern, with a turning area situated right next to our garden. Currently the site is a very quiet garden space, not used for vehicles and two or more cars manoeuvring at the back of our house would cause disturbance to us and other neighbours.
b) provide inadequate amenity space, or vehicular access arrangements and parking spaces for the proposed and existing properties;
The proposed house has almost no garden space and is right up against the boundary of number 3 Hills Ave, The Coachhouse and number 1 Hills Avenue. The proposed amenity space is actually much smaller than that of number 3 Hills Avenue and 6a Cavendish Avenue, and not really comparable as the plans suggest.
The lack of garden space is also a worry in terms of surface water run-off. The ground on south west side of our boundary is already extremely wet and boggy, and it is unclear to us what impact on groundwater flows and increase surface water run off a large building with basement would have.
c) detract from the prevailing character and appearance of the area;
It is our opinion that the contemporary design of the house is unattractive, inappropriate for the space and out of character in with the surrounding buildings (Victorian cottages- see below). It is hard to see how it could possibly be considered to have a positive impact on the setting in terms of location, height, scale and form, materials, and available views (3/12 section a) and it is certainly not "a natural extension of the small group of adjacent dwellings" as the plans state, given that they are Victorian. While it may not be visible from the road, it will certainly be visible to numbers 1, 3 and the Coachhouse Hills Avenue.
d) adversely affect the setting of Listed Buildings, or buildings or gardens of local interest within or close to the site;
Number 3 Hills Avenue and the coachhouse next door (the proposed house's nearest neighbours) are both characterful Victorian buildings of Cambridge white brick under slate roofs, which were once staff housing and stabling for a larger property in the 1800s. The coach house is owned by number 1 Hills Ave and is in tenanted residential use and is not as the plans describe 'an ancillary building' to number 3. They are both modest, with only a little amenity space. The introduction of a large, over-bearing modern building so close the boundary would ruin the charm of these beautifully conserved buildings of historic interest.
The construction of a basement living area is also a great concern to us. What impact would the digging over the entire area of the house have given the age of two buildings with almost no foundations so close to the boundary?
e) adversely affect trees, wildlife features or architectural features of local importance located within or close to the site
There will be a loss of a number of beautiful trees as a result of the development, for example, the ancient apple tree against the boundary of 1 Hills Ave which forms part of a historic orchard will almost certainly be killed as its roots must extend into the proposed site. The beach tree in front of 6 Cavendish Ave is to be removed, as is an apple tree to make way for a proposed 'manoeuvring space', reducing the visual amenity of area (see also section 4/4 Trees "Development will not be permitted which would involve the felling, significant surgery or potential root damage to trees of amenity or other value unless there are demonstrable public benefits accruing from the proposal which outweigh the current and future amenity value of the trees").
The garden plot is currently a home and corridor for muntjac deer, foxes, butterflies and a great many birds- the loss of this peaceful natural habitat for flora and fauna in an already very built up area of the city would be a great shame.
3/12 The Design of New Buildings
b. are convenient, safe, and accessible for all users and visitors
We have concerns about the very narrow drive and how accessible it would be to an emergency vehicle.
We note that the distance of the proposed building from Cavendish Avenue is in breach of the 'drag distance' guidelines for refuse collection, exceeding it by 30%.

It is our belief that the infilling in this proposal is constitutes 'garden grabbing' and over development, both of which are discouraged under the new 2014 Local Plan (section 6.39). We are aware that it is yet to come into use, however we hope that due consideration will be given to developments which so clearly flout the future direction of planning in Cambridge.
We note that a previous application for a bungalow on this site was refused (ref C/89/0721) on the basis that it constituted "backland development and would result in an unacceptable loss of amenity to surrounding residential properties by reason of increased noise, disturbance and loss of privacy". While we recognise that housing pressures in Cambridge have risen since then, the extremely negative impact on our amenity remains the same, in fact more so given the much larger scale of this proposal.

2B Cavendish Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7US (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Tue 26 Apr 2016

This proposal is archetypal "garden grabbing" and as such should be rejected under the terms of the 2006 Local Plan, whose terms are re-stated in the proposed new Local Plan. As the owner of a property some 75m away, I am concerned that allowing this development would set a terrible precedent in the immediate neighbourhood, and possibly further afield.

I would also draw attention to the absurd claim in the application that "the level of traffic would be less than that which would be generated by the existing 3-car, triple-garage block, thus ensuring a reduced level of traffic and noise nuisance to the host dwelling and neighbouring properties". The existing 3-car, triple-garage block has been derelict, according to neighbours, for at least 25 years, and has not seen a vehicle near it in that time. It generates no traffic and noise nuisance whatsoever.

19 Lady Jane Court Cavendish Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UW (Neutral)

Comment submitted date: Thu 14 Apr 2016

I support the planning application for the actual building but I am concerned about the acccess road to the bulding
from Cavendish Avenue.
The dimensions and construction of the road must:
1. Be of sufficient width to allow acesss of emergency vehicles including fire engines to the new building.If a fire occured in the new building it could easily spread through the neighbourhood which has many trees.
2.The refuse lorry also needs to have access to the building as if it is parked in Cavendish Avenue while refuse collectors walk down the long road/driveway to bring bins back to the lorry it will block the road and add to the already congested and dangerous traffic circulation.
3. The access to the property should be of a specified road surface quality, the same as here at Lady Jane Court as it is not a driveway, and to accommodate heavy duty vehicles as mentined above.
4. The developer's construction vehicles, materials and equipment must not be stored or unloaded in/on Cavendish Avenue.This is a private development .
We have had to tolerate the Scania trucks and materials dumped and parked in or road for the last year. However these were part of a public development project so there was justification, but we will not tolerate a private developer doing likewise.

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