Express & Star

Bungalow plans approved again despite neighbours’ objections

A family’s bid to build two bungalows on land at the back of a Cannock house have once again been given the green light despite objections from neighbours.

Old Penkridge Road, Cannock

Proposals for new properties and the demolition and replacement of the existing Old Penkridge Road house have previously been approved by Cannock Chase Council.

But the consent for the two new homes is due to expire in January after the Covid pandemic caused delays to the project.

A fresh application for two bungalows at the rear of the address was submitted earlier this year to Cannock Chase Council. But there were two objections to the plans.

One said: “The development will significantly negatively alter the local building layout by decreasing the green natural environment and replacing it with crammed buildings with small gardens which are out of character with the surrounding area.

“The bungalows are shoehorned on to the rear garden making them out of character. The buildings may meet standards but they will ruin the local environment and provide minimal benefit for local housing need.

“Plot 3 is elevated and will have direct views into our home. This will be a tandem development and will directly overlook my property.”

On Wednesday Cannock Chase Council’s planning committee approved the application. The committee was told that applicant had revised the plans to reduce the finished floor level, which would reduce the overall height of Plot 3 by 55cm.

Colin Sutton, who spoke in support of the plans, said: “The application is a resubmission of an application that was approved but unfortunately has lapsed. It is the same as the previous application and we have tried to facilitate the requirements of the neighbours.”

The applicant said that when their grandfather had bought the house and land in the 1940s “it included the right to build on the plots”. Their supporting statement added: “After the death of my grandfather in 1975 my father and mother purchased the property from my grandmother and our family moved into the property where we had a great childhood running around and playing in the large back garden, but my father always intended to develop the land at some point.

“When my parents started to struggle with the upkeep of the land and we saw the house itself was falling apart, cold, damp and extremely hard to heat due to the old construction techniques. We decided to pursue planning permission on the land at the back to finance the rebuild of a new eco-friendly warm and safe place for my parents to safely retire in.

“We finally got planning permission in 2018 to build two bungalows and in 2020 we also got planning permission to build a large 5-bedroom house on the land and permission to knock down the existing house and rebuild a new one for them. After talking to the neighbours though, the vast majority preferred the bungalows option, so we agreed to go down that route.

“Unfortunately, then Covid happened which disrupted the plans. And just as we were coming out of that in December 2020 my parents were involved in a serious head on car crash which put all the building plans on hold whilst we nursed them back to health.

“We are not developers looking to cash in from the property but Old Penkridge Road’s longest residents, who are looking to realise plans of over 40 years and build our parents a safe and warm home to live out their lives amongst our family and friends.”

Councillor Andrea Beach, who chaired the consideration of the application at Wednesday’s meeting, used her casting vote to approve the proposals after two members voted in favour and two against.

She said: “I feel very sympathetic towards neighbours but there aren’t any material considerations for us to refuse this application. It has already been approved before.”

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