If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
We have brought you not one, not two, but three posts about Redlynch House on Hillcrest Rd, Hythe. Now we bring you a fourth.
After the planning application failed to be passed on the 30th May 2017, by the Planning Committee, Redlynch Residential Home Limited controlled by Geoff Miles pictured), Chair of Kent & Medway Enterprise Partnership, Chair of Shepway Business Advisory Board and director in nine active companies, appealed the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.
Meanwhile, without awaiting the Inspector’s decision and report, the developer was busy on a revised scheme, on which he had a pre-application meeting with Shepway in December 2017.
Planning Application number -Y18/0215/SH is for the demolition of existing building (former residential home pictured below) and the erection of 9 new apartments with associated car parking and amenity areas (resubmission of application Y16/0866/SH)
The Planning Inspector passed down their decision on the 13th March 2018.
In the decision, the Planning Inspector who was very thorough said:
I consider the proposal would create a development that would be visually out of scale with the existing development along the south side of Hillcrest Road. Furthermore, it would not reflect the existing spaciousness and rhythm of development in the locality.
They go onto say:
Further to the above, a building of the height and overall size proposed would stand out as being significantly larger than other buildings on this part of the escarpment when observed from the lower land to the south. Being sited toward the top of the escarpment it would impact upon the skyline. Indeed the appellant’s Appeal Statement contains photographs that show the existing property punctuating the skyline when viewed from the Royal Military Canal and The Green to the south.
For these reasons, I conclude that the proposed development would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area. The proposed development would be contrary to Policies BE1, BE12, BE16, CO5 and HO1 of the Shepway District Local Plan Review 2013 that seek, amongst other matters, new development to accord with existing development in the locality and that resists development that would harm ASLC. I also conclude that the proposal would run contrary to the objectives of in paragraphs 17, 56, 58, 109 of the National Planning Policy Framework (the Framework) that require development to take account of the different roles and character of different areas and that require good design that responds to local character.
The Planning Inspector finally concludes with: “Having regard to the above findings, the appeal should be dismissed.”
The person of significant control of Redlynch Residential Home Limited – Geoff Miles (pictured) has not been deterred by the Planning Inspector’s ruling and has, as is his right, resubmitted a new revised planning application Y18/0215/SH to FHDC on the 12-02-2018. Now we have looked at the new application and it appears to us the developer is now looking for a 4-storey block, rather than three as before, according to the new drawings submitted to Folkestone & Hythe District Council Planning Department.
The Overall height remains unchanged but protrusion/s into the rear garden and massing over properties at No 17 and No 21 Hillcrest Rd, Hythe are reduced by excavating for a basement into the garden, with upper floors trimmed back. Balconies as such have disappeared, substituted by tiered terraces, except on top floor (where no sidescreen is shown). So concerns about bulk and mass for 17 and 21 appear to be reduced, albeit there may be fresh overlooking issues vis a vis terraces and top balcony with no side-screening.
However, for all intents and purposes it appears the Planning Inspector’s points (ii), (iii) and (iv) remain. In pre-consultation Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) appear to indicate that reducing the depth of the building essentially resolves the impact on distant views. But it does not: it is the east-west width and the height that determine the impact on the skyline and all that remains unchanged. Pre-Application views of the planners are not determining, as we understand.
On the 3rd April 2018 at Hythe Council’s Plan & Works Committee, Y18/0215/SH was discussed. Councillors voted 5 to 2 to reject and object to the application. Hythe Town Councillor’s Alan Ewart-James and Belcourt voted for the application.
It was Hythe Town Cllr Alan Ewart-James (pictured) who introduced the application. He gave a thorough history of Redlynch House, making it clear that the developer has been working with FHDC planning officers to address their reasons for refusal of the original scheme. He also supported the original application, but that as we know failed. Cllr Ewart-James is a loyal man. Cllr. Paul O’Connor (West Ward Hythe) then mentioned the Inspector’s conclusions and that in his view the new scheme did little to address their concerns. Cllr Malcolm Dearden as we understand spoke against, mentioning in particular a letter he had received from a resident. He emphasised continuing concerns over intrusion into the skyline and crowding of adjoining properties.
So will Redlynch House be called in again? Will it come before FHDC’s Planning Committee, quite possibly, if it does, well let you know.
The Shepwayvox Team – Dissent is NOT a crime