Agenda item

Planning application - MC/23/1570 Land adjacent to 3 Swingate Avenue, Cliffe, Rochester

Strood Rural Ward

Part retrospective - Construction of a detached, three-bedroomed dwelling incorporating a dormer to rear, single-storey extension to rear and single-storey extension to front.


This item was moved up the agenda to enable consideration, due to a Ward Councillor being present. 




The Principal Planner outlined the application in detail for part retrospective  construction of a detached, three-bedroomed  dwelling incorporating a dormer to rear, single-storey extension to rear and single-storey extension to front.


The Principal Planner confirmed that a photograph had been sent to all members of the Planning Committee from a Ward Councillor, showing the development from the neighbour’s perspective.


The Principal Planner clarified that a previous planning application had been refused at a Planning Committee, it then went to an appeal which was allowed.  The Inspector imposed conditions which were discharged, however, the permitted development rights were not removed.  The Principal Planner considered that the applicant had received poor advice (not from the Planning Service) that he could extend the property at the same time as building what had been approved at appeal.  The Principal Planner explained that if this planning application was approved, a restriction would be put in place that no further extensions could be allowed.


With the agreement of the Committee, Councillor Williams addressed the Committee as Ward Councillor and raised the following concerns:


  • These were joint objections from his fellow Ward Councillor Mrs Turpin, residents and himself regarding this overbearing development. 
  • Residents had tried to view the plans on Medway’s website, however, they were not available.
  • In the Cliffe and Cliffe Woods Neighbourhood Plan, the policy stated any development should be on previously developed land.  The land in question, did not have any development on it previously.  Policy H6 of the Neighbourhood Plan also stated that all new housing should respect the rural character of its context, and that particular attention should be given to building heights.
  • In Policy BNE2 of the Local Plan, amenity protection, it stated that all developments should secure the amenities of its future occupants and protect those amenities enjoyed by nearby and adjacent properties.  The design of the development should have regard to:  privacy, daylight and sunlight – this development had impacted the local residents by removing their privacy, daylight and sunlight.  This development did not adhere to this.  


The Interim Development Manager explained to the Planning Committee that the Cliffe and Cliffe Wood Neighbourhood Plan was the first neighbourhood plan to be adopted in Medway and was adopted on 24 May 2023.  As such, the Neighbourhood Plan can be afforded significant  weight in decision making as part of the Development Plan as it is more up to date than Medway’s Local Plan.  


He also explained that during the appeal process, the plans showed a 2-storey dwelling.  The Planning Inspector did not remove the permitted development rights for extensions to the dwelling.  The applicant had subsequently commenced building the house with a rear dormer, and front and read single storey extension under what he thought were the permitted development rights. 


If Members were to refuse this planning application, the applicant would have a right to appeal.  If that appeal was lost, enforcement action would then be undertaken. 


The Committee discussed the planning application noting the points raised by the Ward Councillor. 


Members were concerned with the neighbours’ lack of sunlight, overshadowing and the scale of the development and the number of objections to this planning application.


The Principal Planner clarified that, following a question from a Member, the previous planning application and plans were available to view on the Medway’s public website.


The Head of Legal Services confirmed that if the Committee refused the planning application and enforcement action was undertaken and then the applicant submitted a revised planning application which was approved, Medway Council would likely lose and would have to pay costs.




Approved with conditions 1 to 8 as set out in the report for the reasons stated in the report.

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