Leicester City Council approves plans for Oadby games room

By Matthew Chandler

Plans for the construction of a games room at an Oadby house were approved at a council meeting last Wednesday (14 March).


3 Guilford Road, Leicester (Google Maps)

An application for a single-storey detached games room building at 3 Guilford Road, Oadby, was submitted in February and discussed at the Leicester City Council meeting at City Hall last week.

Though the plans were considered acceptable by the majority of councillors, various objections to this construction were made.

Lizzie Marjoram, a specialist planning lawyer, said: “The description of development is misleading. A recent application from this applicant to construct a residential annex for care of his elderly relative was withdrawn; this application is still really for an annex.

“Secondly, the proposed building harms the residential amenity of the neighbours because it is a large structure in a modern garden, and it would have an overbearing effect.”

Mrs Marjoram argued that a flat roof would make more sense than the ‘unacceptable’ proposed design and feared the lack of any vehicular access to the rear of the property will mean construction would cause ‘severe disruption’.

She also expressed concerns that construction would kill a neighbouring mature tree, and that approval of these plans would set a precedent for similar applications in the future.

“It would be wrong to create a precedent which would cause other large annexes to become a common feature here, particularly when it is very hard to control whether people start living in them,” she added.

“I suggest to you, councillors, that it is inevitable that somebody will be living in this annex”.

In response to these objections, planning officer Steve Brown said that while these complaints were considered, the design set out in the proposal was still considered acceptable.

He said: “It’s our view that it’s not an unreasonable design for a domestic outbuilding, that it doesn’t unreasonably impact on neighbouring property.

“They would still retain well in excess of the minimum requirement for houses for outside amenity space, which is 100 square metres, so we don’t believe that is a precedent.”

Mr Brown added that, following consultation, the council tree officer felt these mature trees do not merit special protection, so cannot qualify for a tree preservation order.

Councillors were happy to amend the description of the house itself as a ‘Class C3’ building (i.e. used as a ‘dwelling house’). This was deemed misleading, given the proposed outbuilding, not the house, falls in this category.

As such, conditional approval for the construction of this new outbuilding was subsequently granted.

The full planning report for this development can be found at: cabinet.leicester.gov.uk:8071/documents/s91284/20180141%203%20Guilford%20Road.pdf while readers can watch the webcast of the full council meeting at: leicester.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/342028/start_time/0.


Resident’s anger over confirmed Leicester house conversion

Cambridge Street

By Luke Smith

A Leicester resident has vented their anger to the city council after the planning application he objected to was passed.

Damon Gibbons, of 27 Cambridge Street, was objecting to the development of 25 Cambridge Street. The application was made to convert the house on Cambridge Street into three flats, with a bedroom extension at the rear and a single story rear extension.

Mr Gibbons stood before council on Wednesday, March 14, and said: “The fact of the matter is that this property has been subject to quite considerable discussions with the local authority over the past three years. I can’t summarise in five minutes (the allotted time for explanation) all of the discussions about; how long this property was left derelict for; how the owner of the property at the time was informed that he needed planning permission before he started works; how he continued with the work until asked to stop by officers; and then left the property derelict with no guttering, which was causing damp problems in my property.

“Access to the sewerage is on my premises, so if anybody has to do something to the sewer for the number of houses this affects it’s me who has to call the plumber out and pay for it.

“The simple fact is that there’s only going to be one or two people using the bathroom at one time in a shared house. However, if you convert it into three or four flats then that would triple or quadruple the amount of waste to go down that sewer, and if it blocks it’ll be me who has to pay for that.”

The agenda supplied prior to the meeting stated that: “Cllr Russell and a local resident object on grounds of lack of noise insulation, lack of outdoor space and insufficient waste disposal, residential amenity and character of the area”

The planning application was passed with two members against the proposal and two members in favour of it, with the chair having the casting vote.

The result of the vote led to an angry exchange between Mr Gibbons and the chair of the meeting, Councillor Ted Cassidy, causing the meeting to be temporarily adjourned.