Herons Haunt, Worthing. Planning Application (Approved)

Herons Haunt 2017

Reference 3PL/2017/0730/F, conversion of existing garage building at Heron’s Haunt, Worthing.
Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting have considered the planning application referred to above and fully support it. What is proposed very successfully makes provision for multi-generational living, something which is entirely lacking in the immediate area whilst the demand for it is growing both locally and nationally. Quite clearly careful consideration has been given to the particular demands of the application site and the plans show a building which is entirely in keeping with its surroundings and which makes use of the same pattern of building materials approved for its original construction and the adjacent dwelling. The proposal ensures that the converted structure will only be used for residential purposes ancillary to the main house and that both buildings will remain for use of a single family.
It is noted that some difference of opinion has emerged regarding the question of flood risk as referred to in the flood risk assessment accompanying the application and the consultation document submitted by The Environment Agency. Of course we are not in a position to take a view on the technical matters which appear to represent the distance between the two views but feel nevertheless we should comment on things which are very apparent both on the ground and in the application documents.
• Firstly there is no overall change in the footprint of the converted building and the flood risk assessment indicates how the foundations can be satisfactorily modified to reduce flood risk impact. There appears to be no impediment to this being eventually conditioned.
• There is no specific indication of any increased threat of flooding as a result of conversion either to the converted building or any building surrounding it.
• The change of designation from ‘less vulnerable’ to ‘more vulnerable’ appears to be entirely predicated on a change of use to ‘dwelling’, this takes no account of it always having had an ancillary use to an existing dwelling included in the same planning unit.
• There will be no more surface water run off than already exists and any increase in ‘foul’ water will be no more than if the existing dwelling was extended to include the same facilities. Such an extension might easily fall within ‘permitted development’ and would include a far greater environmental impact. This would include the impact of construction and use of an inferior means of disposing of sewage. An extension would link to the existing septic tank whereas the application includes a more efficient ‘package treatment plant’.
• Although this proposed conversion does sit in a flood risk zone it is surrounded by other dwellings which have all been modified against flood inundation using methods approved by The Environment Agency. There is no apparent impediment to the same measures being employed during the construction phase of the proposed conversion, indeed as they can be designed into the build there will be greater scope for effective flood proofing.
Our parish meeting take the view that this is an entirely desirable conversion of an existing building that does not conflict in any meaningful way with existing planning policies. It is also relevant that the emerging local plan identifies limited scope for entirely new dwellings in the countryside where this would be in the nature of an infill and has demonstrable local support. This proposal goes one step further than ‘infill’ in that it is already established between existing buildings and would require no additional access to the highway; it also has the support of the parish meeting, local residents, indeed it has no opposition. It is capable of conversion without significant extension or rebuilding (DC20) and is already well screened from other dwellings by a high, well-established hedge. The size and design are clearly appropriate to the landscape character of the location (DC3) and no negative impact on amenity is identified (DC1).
It is appreciated that planning consent runs with the land rather than the circumstances of any individual but we consider the special circumstances of the applicants to positively weigh in favour of this application succeeding nevertheless. They are of advanced years, with declared health issues and they have lived in Worthing for many years. This conversion would allow them to live where they have strong community ties and close to their family who would be on hand to help as carers or provide a quick response if required. As indicated at the outset however such requirements apply to an ever-growing portion of our population and are increasingly desirable. Looking forward therefore, were this application to succeed it would make a provision not just for the applicants at this time of their life when they need additional support but also residents of the future with similar housing needs.
We would ask you to take account of our comments when you consider this matter.
Yours sincerely

Trevor Wood
(Chairman, Hoe and Worthing Parish Meeting)

N.B. In considering the application form we could not understand the answer to question 17 which indicates both the existence of social rented housing and a proposal to increase the provision. We believe that there is no relevant housing provision of the type listed in existence and the proposal will not change that. We therefore suggest the answer to the question should have been ‘no’.


REFERENCE:       3PL/2017/0730/F
PROPOSAL:         Conversion and extension of existing garages to provide accommodation for aged parents
LOCATION:           HOE: Herons Haunt Church Road, Worthing, Hoe
APPLICANT:         Mr & Mrs Sansom
CASE OFFICER:   Sandra Bunning

The above application has now been considered and the application has been APPROVED.

The decision setting out the Council’s reasons and any conditions, if appropriate are available on our website by using the following link:

Click here to view the Application Details

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