Seaton bungalow plan rejected by planners

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COUNCILLORS have rejected a dad’s plans to build a new bungalow for his family on land behind his daughter’s house.

Trevor Horwood applied to Hartlepool Borough Council planners for permission to build the single-storey building on land in Bilsdale Road, Seaton Carew.

His daughter and her family currently live in a semi-detached house in the street and there is a large area of grassed land behind their property.

Mr Horwood had hoped to get the green light to build the bungalow so he could move in with his wife and two children.

But the council’s planning committee rejected the plans after a lengthy meeting.

Councillors had concerns about access to the property, which would have been via a paved driveway between Mr Horwood’s daughter’s house and another property, and the impact it would have on neighbours in terms of noise.

Members also heard from planning officers that there was a history of refusals for tandem-style – which is one house built behind another - developments on the site.

Planning officer Jim Ferguson said: “It is considered that this would cause an unacceptable level of disturbance to the neighbouring properties.”

Planners received three letters of objection over concerns about the limited access, that it would set a precedent for similar schemes and that the land was originally used as an allotment and it was never listed for development.

Work has already started on a garage block at the end of the driveway because that work does not require planning permission.

Planning consultant Gary Swarbrick represented the family and said the level of cars using the drive would not be “significant” due to the size of the bungalow.

The plans for the bungalow included three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, bathroom, utility and pantry.

Those councillors in favour of the plans argued that there is already a driveway in place and that cars would be using the garage block anyway.

Conservative councillor Ray Wells said: “I think this is similar to the other 43 tandem-style developments in town. I don’t see that this is vastly different.”

He added that it was “strange” that such a large piece of land was attached to one house.

Mr Ferguson argued that each application had to be considered on its own merits.

Councillors heard that Mr Horwood, who was not present at the meeting. was willing to sign a legal agreement to bind the two properties together.

Members discussed the application for almost an hour before voting 7-6 against the plans.

Mr Horwood did not wish to comment after being contacted by the Mail but said he was considering appealing the decision.