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16/2041/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: 33
  • Comments Received: 8
  • Objections: 8
  • Supporting: 0
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4A Cavendish Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7US (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 08 Feb 2017

As we commented on the initial application for this development, the issue is not so much what type of development should be permitted on the site, as whether a development should be permitted there at all. We persist in our view that it should not, for the reasons we gave previously. The development will not have a positive impact on its setting (Local Plan 3/12a). On the contrary, it will inevitably adversely affect the surrounding area.

5 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 16 Dec 2016

This proposal does not allow for the protection of existing trees or the retention of sufficient space around existing dwellings.
The applicant has provided some drawings depicting shadows cast at solstices and equinoxes. Although the single storey design should cast a reduced shadow when compared to the previous two storey proposal, the extent of the overshadowing cannot clearly be ascertained from these drawings because they are of the wrong scale and not detailed enough. This should be taken up with the applicant.
The proposed new building design, especially its curved metal roof,would be in jarring contrast to the Victorian character of adjacent homes which are built of local brick with slate roofs and sash windows.
If permitted, construction will involve substantial earthworks, using heavy equipment, very near to peoples homes. Planning conditions on working times and noise and vibration limits would need to be imposed to protect local amenity, and avoid nuisance.

The Coach House, 1 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 16 Dec 2016

I write as the long-term resident of the Coach House at 1 Hills Avenue, a property adjoining the proposed site (16/2041/FUL). The revised plans do not alter my objections to the withdrawn proposal (16/0568/FUL) which still stand.

Whilst acknowledging that the reduction of the building's proposed height would reduce its adverse impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties, the revised plan still contravenes the Cambridge Local Plan, 2006, in a number of respects.

3/10 Subdivision of Existing Plots:
a) "have a significant adverse impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties":

The Full Planning Application (FPA) contains a number of misleading statements and omissions whose effect is to minimise the impact of the proposed building on the Coach House and 1 Hills Avenue.

The Coach House is misidentified as a 'separate ancilliary building' to 3 Hills Avenue (FPA, p. 2) whose amenities are not considered by the FPA at all. In fact, the Coach House is 6 metres from the proposed building. It would suffer from a significant loss of privacy and an overbearing sense of enclosure as well from the generation of increased traffic and domestic noise should this proposal be allowed to go ahead.

Likewise, the FPA misleadingly suggests that the proposed building would not affect 1 Hills Avenue by stating that it 'adjoins the rear garden of No. 1 Hills Avenue, a detached house set within a large plot' (FPA, p. 3) whereas in reality the proposed building is 8 metres from the main living area of 1 Hills Avenue.

The FPA incorrectly claims that the proposed building would reduce traffic noise because of the replacement of a three-car garage by two car spaces for new property. The old garage has bot been used for many years and in the time that I have lived at the Coach House I have never heard a car in that abandoned garden area.

b) "provide inadequate amenity space....":
The amenity space for the proposed building is too small, raising concerns about water drainage in an area where damp is a major problem to the adjoining Coach House.

c) "detract fro the prevailing character and appearance of the area":
The Coach House and 3 Hills Avenue are pretty Victorian buildings dating from the 1840s. They form a small ensemble, which, together with the apple trees from the same period, have historical value. The contemporary design of the proposed building, which would be squeezed into the area between these two historic building, would detract from the prevailing character and appearance of the area.

d) "adversely affect the setting of Listed Buildings, or buildings or gardens of local interest within or cloe to the site":
In addition to my comments in c) above, the proposed construction of a basement would endanger the two Victorian buildings, the Coach House and 3 HIlls Avenue, which have very shallow foundations (a point made by several objections to 16/0568/FUL but not addressed by the developers in their revised plans). It would also endanger the old brick wall on the east boundary of the proposed building site.

e) "adversely affect....wildlife features..."
The proposed building site is a wildlife sanctuary - deer, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs have been sighted there on a regular basis. In neither of their plans have the developers even acknowledged the impact of their building on these animals.

3/12 The Design of the New Buildings
b) "are convenient, safe, and accessible..."
I am alarmed by the clear fire danger flagged by the report of the Fire Services which makes it clear that a fire engine would not be able to access the proposed building in the event of a fire. The close proximity of the proposed building to the Coach House, 3 and 1 Hills Avenue represents a real danger of a fire spreading to neighbouring properties. The belated proposal of the developers to incorporate a 'domestic sprinkler system' hardly obviates 'the need for fire tender access', as they suggest.

4/4 Trees
"Development will not be permitted which would involve the felling, significant surgery, or potential root damage to trees of amenity or of value...."
The Tree Survey attached to the revised plans do not (and cannot) guarantee the survival of the ancient apple trees from the Victorian orchard of historical value. The mature and well-kept apple trees are located on the southern boundary of the proposed building and which represent an important amenity for the Coach House.

Overall, the revised proposals are a clear example of 'garden grabbing' and insensitive overdevelopment, which are both discouraged by the 2014 Local Plan.

1 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Fri 16 Dec 2016

We are writing to object to the plans for a house in the garden of 4 Cavendish Avenue. We acknowledge that the plans have been revised and that there is a reduction in height but we are still concerned that some of our major objections have not been addressed.

We live a 1 Hills Avenue. We have a number of comments and specific objections.



1. The plans fail to show the proximity of our property to the proposed house. There is a distance of approximately 8 metres from our kitchen/dining area to the proposed building. The proposed development would have a far greater impact on our property and privacy than indicated from the plan.

2. The plan fails to include the Victorian coach house (also a residence and part of 1 Hills Avenue) in the building height outlines.

3. The door of the coach house would be less than 5 metres from the basement. The Victorian brick wall between the coach house and the proposed development is even closer.

4. The coach house and the brick wall were built in approximately 1840 and have very minimal foundations. Pile driving for a basement can only have a detrimental effect on these historic buildings.

5. The agent's letter refers to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) March 2012 stating that it adopts a strong presumption in favour of sustainable development. However, the NPPF also states in paragraph 48 that windfall sites should NOT include residential gardens. In addition, paragraph 53 states: "Local planning authorities should consider the case for setting out policies to resist inappropriate development of residential gardens..." A central tenet of the NPPF is that residential gardens should be preserved.

6. The agent's letter states "The level of traffic will be less.... thus ensuring a reduced level of traffic and noise nuisance to the host dwelling and neighbouring properties." We have lived at this address since 1999 and at no time during my residence has the garage been used. These proposals would be increasing the level of traffic and noise nuisance. It is a misleading claim to suggest that this will enhance local residential amenity.

7. We have two apple trees on the boundary which were part of an original Victorian orchard. The Cambridge City Plan 4/4 states that development will not be permitted which would involve root damage to trees of amenity. Even with care, there can be no guarantee that the construction of a basement will not destabilize the trees. The proposed dwelling would be very close to our boundary fence and the basement would be built under the original canopy of the tree. The tree surgeon (contact can be supplied), who regularly prunes the trees, considers that even with hand pruning of roots, our large and beautiful apple trees will suffer, if not immediately, then in the long term. The Aboricultural Assessment submitted provides insufficient detail about steps that would be taken to preserve the trees.

8. As the proposed development is so close to our home and back garden it will lead to an unacceptable loss of privacy, increased noise and additional light pollution. The right to respect for private life is not just about being overlooked but also includes these wider issues.


9. The Local Plan 3/12a permits new buildings "where it can be demonstrated that they will have a positive 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 hard to see how the proposed dwelling will have any positive (not merely neutral) impact on its setting. It does not form "a natural extension and addition" to the existing group of homes, as claimed. Appropriate innovation in architecture is necessary but, according to the NPPF, "new buildings should respond to local character and history, and reflect the identity of local surroundings and materials." This does not seem to be the case here.



10. There is very little amenity space around the proposed dwelling and, in spite of the developers claim, it is far less than our neighbours at 3 Hills Ave and 6A Cavendish Avenue. We suggest that this is not good design. The developer also states that "its discreet location to the rear of existing dwellings will also avoid harm to the appearance of the area." I will certainly be able to see it from every back window in my house. The fact that there are a number of existing dwellings does not mean that a further one will have 'a positive impact on the setting'.

11. There seems to be little concern about the considerable wildlife and their habitat in this proposal. The area is a mini -nature reserve and provides a haven for all sorts of urban animals and birds.

12. The 'drag distance' for refuse collection is exceeded and establishes a bad precedent, if development is permitted.

13. We are anxious about access in the event of fire, as outlined by the fire officer. A sprinkling system is not a sufficient guarantee. What if it fails? What if it is not regularly serviced?

We also have some more general policy concerns.

1. The existence of a derelict garage in a garden does not fall within the legal definition of 'previously developed land' and a 'windfall site' does not include gardens. This is a garden development. Current government policy discourages garden developments. Loss of garden space is a detriment to the whole community. Gardens improve air quality, assist in controlling air temperature and flood risk and provide a haven for wildlife. Building on gardens is discouraged under the new 2014 Local Plan (section 6.39). I acknowledge that it is yet to come into force, however I would hope that consideration of it would be given to developments that are so clearly at odds with the future direction of planning in Cambridge.

2. An important part of the character of this area of Cambridge derives from the vital green space around houses and the important role of trees. The proposed house will lead to an overdeveloped corner. Building on gardens does not enhance the setting and special character of an area as acknowledged in the NPPF.

3. There is a need for additional housing but Cambridge already has a huge ongoing residential building program. A planning application on the same garden plot was rejected in 1989 as "backland development which would result in an unacceptable loss of amenity to surrounding residential properties by reason of increased noise, disturbance and loss of amenity". The same objections still apply.

4. Building basements have had well -documented detrimental effects on local communities. In fact, increased public concern about basement developments has resulted in the UK Department for Communities and Local Government in November 2016 establishing a consultation and call for evidence.
Paragraph 2 of the Consultation states:

The issues highlighted have included: the impact on
neighbouring properties during the development; the length of time the development takes; and potential increased flood risks through
development affecting drainage systems.

These issues are also of great concern to us and we do not consider that this has been given due consideration in this application.

6A Cavendish Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7US (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Thu 15 Dec 2016

I have lived in 6A,Cavendish Avenue since 1989,with only a fence and hedge between my drive and that of No 4.In all that time I have never known the existing triple garages to be used.
The proposed property, with parking for 4 cars and access along the drive of 4,Cavendish Avenue will inevitably increase the noise and disturbance for my property as well as for other adjacent properties.

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

Comment submitted date: Wed 14 Dec 2016

We wish to make the following points with regard to Application 16/2041/FUL

Earlier in the year we commented on a previous application for this site (16/0568/FUL). Most of the points we made in regard to that apply to the current application too.
We acknowledge that the current application is for a smaller-scale dwelling than that which was proposed earlier in the year. However, the question is not so much what type of development should be permitted on this site, as whether a development should be permitted there at all.

There are several reasons why it should not.

1. In 1989 the Council refused planning permission for a similar bungalow development on the site 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." This remains the case with the current proposal. Any development on this site will inevitably have a negative impact on adjacent properties.

2. The developers' Statement refers to the existence of "a small group of dwellings set back to the rear of existing dwellings". There are in fact just two, 6A Cavendish Avenue and 3 Hills Avenue, the latter dating, we believe, from the late 19th century. It claims that the proposed dwelling forms "a natural extension and addition" to this group. It is hard to see in what way this is the case. The fact that there are two properties sited to the rear of other dwellings in the close vicinity does not provide justification for the construction of another. On the contrary, to introduce another dwelling into this small area would make it cramped. It would also set an unwelcome precedent for development in the wider area.

3. The developers' Statement claims that "The level of traffic will 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". 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 by vehicles, 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.

4. The Statement quotes section 3/4 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2006: "developments will identify and respond positively to existing features of natural, historic or local character". But the contemporary style of the proposed dwelling is out of keeping with the area. The Statement points out that the practice of erecting buildings of contemporary design is "established" in the wider local area but evidences just three (and we are unaware of any others), none of which blend in at all with the buildings that surround them.

5. We have been unable to find in the documentation any reference to consideration of the effects of the construction of a basement on drainage of the area.

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 to see how the proposed dwelling will have any positive impact on its setting.

We do not support the application.

3 Hills Avenue Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB1 7UY (Objects)

Comment submitted date: Wed 14 Dec 2016

We strongly oppose this planning proposal which we feel still has an unacceptable impact on our property adjoining the site.
Currently the site contains some unused and derelict garages and is extremely quiet and tranquil. If the proposed 4 bedroom house plus basement 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 revised proposal is still 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 4 bedroom house with basement on this section of garden would have a huge impact on our already very limited amenity: our currently very private garden would lose both light 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 a family house up against our boundary, 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. We completely disagree with the proposals claims that there will be "limited additional shadow": it can clearly be seen from the Shadow Study that there will be a large impact on sunlight to our property from noon until dusk in winter, spring and autumn. Their claims that the shadows cast would be less than those cast by an imaginary building, not in existence or proposed, are ridiculous. This all 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. Despite the proposal's reduced scale, the Shadow Study demonstrates that building this house would still impact on the available light inside our house, rendering it even darker than it is currently.
We also have concerns about the level of light pollution from the skylights on the proposed drawings.
The concession of reducing the house by one storey 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. It will not be in "a discreet location to the rear of existing dwellings", but right up against our boundary and very visible from our house and garden.
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 once again that the garages are currently not used for vehicles and have not been for decades, so it is very misleading for the plans to continue to repeatedly state that the "level of traffic will be less than that that which would 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, a fact that we pointed out in the last application.
The extra vehicular activity is a serious concern, with a turning area situated right next to our garden. Currently the site is a very quiet garden space with no vehicle movement, and two or more cars manoeuvring right outside two of our bedroom windows 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 amenity space is actually much smaller than that of number 3 Hills Avenue and 6a Cavendish Avenue, and not really comparable as the plans state.
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, scale and form, materials, and available views (3/12 section a) and it is certainly not "an acceptable extension of the existing development character being an integral part of an existing arrangement of a small group of backland dwellings" or "readily assimilated" 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 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, 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 drive piling 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, if I'm not mistaken the Tree Survey indicates the loss of 9 trees (including Thorn, Apple, Beech, Hawthorn, Yew, Privet and Elder), 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 (we regularly see deer in our garden), foxes, hedgehogs, 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 note that the Fire and Rescue report states that access for fire appliances is inadequate. The risk of fire spreading to ours and neighbouring properties extremely quickly combined with the inability for a fire engine to access the site doesn't bear thinking about.
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. The last application (ref 16/0568/FUL) was withdrawn following advice that the impact on neighbouring properties would be unacceptable- reducing the height of the building does not negate this. The additional sense of enclosure and noise, loss of privacy, loss of light, loss of trees and wildlife, risk of fire and risk of damage to surrounding properties during construction all still remain.
If this application is to be decided by councillors, please take this as notice that we would like to speak at the meeting of the committee at which this application is expected to be decided. Please let us know as soon as possible the date of the meeting.

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

Comment submitted date: Fri 02 Dec 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 will 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.

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