Retrospective planning permission for a detached double garage in Odell has been granted despite a claim that part of the development was overhanging a neighbour’s property.
The plans for a detached double garage, solar panels and an air source heat pump in Odell returned to the planning committee yesterday (16 May) after being deferred last month so committee members could carry out a site visit.
“Is there any way we can withhold that part of [the application]?” Councillor Martin Towler (Conservative, Riseley Ward) asked.
Janine Laver, the council’s development manager, said: “Council [planning] committees or planning officers have no ability to issue a split decision, only the secretary of state has that right.
“What you have before you is an application for retrospective development, so that’s development that’s already occurred.
“And that’s the expansion in size of the garage, the solar panels, and the air source heat pump
“You have to make a decision on all parts of that, you can’t support one part and refuse another part.
Councillor Towler told the committee he discussed the pump with the applicant’s agent, who said he would discuss the siting of the pump.
“I know we had this discussion last time around in regard to the fact that it wasn’t a legal precedent to apply for planning permission on someone else’s ground,” councillor Towler said.
“It just seems where the agent said ‘yes we’ll look into it’, and nothing’s come back.”
Ms Laver said: “Yes, unfortunately, that was in the agent’s gift to be able to amend their application.
“But they haven’t sought to do that,” she said.
Councillor Towler asked if they had been reminded.
“We don’t pursue applicants to amend their plans,” Ms Laver replied.
“You have to make a decision upon what’s here tonight, if obviously, members wish to go with the refusal then we need substantive grounds as to why.
“The applicant could appeal those grounds if they are refused.
“You could confine that to the air source heat pump alone, but the whole thing would go down.
“The applicant would then have to come back to seek to regularise the other two elements, which are the expanded garage building and the solar panels.
“Or they may just take a punt on an appeal,” she added.
“I dare say there is a good chance of winning the appeal,” councillor Towler said.
Councillor Wendy Rider (LibDems, Brickhill Ward) said she would be supporting the application, but the pump’s location wasn’t ideal.
“I think we’ve had enough discussion on the siting of [the pump],” she told the committee.
Committee chair, councillor Jonathan Abbott (LibDems, Oakley Ward) said: “We have no confirmation either way on the ownership of the land.
“And we can’t consider that this evening.
“It may or may not be oversailing someone else’s land, and that can be dealt with in another court, at another time,” he said.
The committee voted to grant the retrospective planning permission.
by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter