Developers’ Delight As Garden Depth Size Ignored For Their Benefit?

In a recent planning development consideration WLBC blatantly ignored its own requirement for design and depth of private rear garden amenity space and changed, then approved it, in favour of developer proposals. An independent member of the planning committee asked for further clarification particularly in respect of the depth of the proposed rear gardens.

Scott Ward Cllr Jane Thompson sought clarification about the “Report No. 3 – Land To The Rear Of 78 New Cut Lane, Halsall – 2020/0390/FUL.

“This application was to be determined under the Council’s delegation scheme, however, Councillor Mills has requested it be referred to the Planning Committee to consider the cumulative effect of backland developments off New Cut Lane, the loss of amenity to residents and highway and drainage implications”.

From WLBC “The proposed dwellings are modest in size and benefit from private rear amenity space. The rear gardens do fall short of the 10m depth standard advocated in the Design SPD, however given the relatively wide footprint of the proposed dwellings, the gardens would be sufficiently wide to ensure that a reasonable standard of amenity is available to future occupiers. The houses benefit from side driveway parking allowing an area to the front of the dwellings for a garden. I am satisfied that the proposed layout is acceptable in accordance with Policy GN3 of the Local Plan.

“In terms of rear garden depths, these vary in length between approximately 5 metres and 7.5 metres, however the gardens would have an approximate width of 17m and range from being approximately 82.5m2 to 140m2. It is not unusual for bungalow developments to have short gardens and I consider the width of the gardens and the largely open rear aspect compensates for the shortfall in depth and would provide an adequate standard of amenity in accordance with Policy GN3 of the Local Plan”.

That looks like another bizarre cack-handed planning philosophy similar to the Beacon Park Golf Course Serco criminal planning breach regularised by WLBC planners. “Look over your fence at the open rear aspect” seems like a developers’ delight! But what happens if you need a six foot high fence to deter unwelcome visitors? With the developer biased WLBC you apparently just make do with a tiny clothes drying area and a bin storage space!

Cllr Thompson is reported to have voted against the proposal but it was approved. She has the high moral ground?

1 thought on “Developers’ Delight As Garden Depth Size Ignored For Their Benefit?

  1. neil campbell (@limetreevilla)

    How on eath can a newbuild family dwelling have rear gardens with a depth of 5 meters? that’s the same distance from your settee to your tv!
    Just pause and think about that for a moment – you pull the curtains back in the morning in your new home and stare at very close range your rear fence, is that quality of amenity or is it more akin to a sense of inprisonment?
    Questions must be asked on why this vital detail of information was only released just prior to determination to the planning committee members,quietly slotted in as “Late Information”
    Within the submitted application comments, the only mention of the depth was that the gardens would be under the required 10 meters yet it was only a few hours before the meeting that would anyone find out that the gardens would be HALF the size!!!
    WLBC planning department deems this as “acceptable” for sustainable living is a bloody joke!
    This type of local policy definition “stretching” is endemic of their pro developer – anti resident approach to the planning application process.
    Unfortuently conservative councillors on the planning committee seem to be in no mood to challenge or even question the abuses of local planning polices however they will be reminded throughout the local election campains.
    There are serious concerns on why the Portfolio for Planning, Cllr David Evans, isn’t getting a grip of the planning department! If he continues to allow this department to run riot, what sort of Local Plan review will we end up with other than a developer friendly sham?


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