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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Councillor’s ‘ridiculous’ house plan

Councillor withdraws 'ridiculous' application for house on narrow sliver of land

The chair of a planning panel has seen his own application to build a house described as “ridiculous” by Council colleagues.

Proposals for a three-storey, four-metre-wide house on a small patch of land on Nab Wood Drive have been withdrawn after a planning officer said there was “pretty much nil chance” of it being approved.

Councillor Arshad Hussain (Lab, Toller) is chair of the Bradford Area Planning Panel, a panel of Councillors that makes decisions on planning applications from across the city.

But on Wednesday he attended a meeting of the Keighley and Shipley Area Planning Panel as an applicant.

Nab Wood Small House Plan Image: LDRS

Plans submitted by Cllr Hussain last year called for a detached, four-bed house to be built on a narrow piece of land between two homes on the Nab Wood street.

Planning officers had recommended the application be refused for five separate reasons, including the fact that the garden will be located in the Green Belt and that the house would be a “cramped and incongruous form of development”.

They also pointed out there was no detail on how the development would impact trees or biodiversity.

Because it was an application submitted by a Councillor, a decision needed to be made by a planning panel, rather than an individual Council officer like many smaller-scale applications.

Planning officer Lucy Fillingham told the Committee: “The property would be very narrow – very different to the other houses on the street.

“The neighbours to either side would look out on a very tall, austere brick wall. The development potential for a new house on this site is pretty much nil.”

She told the panel the property would be between three and four metres wide.

Adrian Lyles, who lives next to the site, spoke at the meeting. He said most of the street was made up of semidetached homes.

He said: “This looks to shoehorn a detached house in the middle of these semis. It looks like a letterbox stood on its end.

“I’d be looking out onto a solid brick wall.”

Cllr Arshad Hussain Image: LDRS

Cllr Hussain told the panel he had commissioned surveys to look at issued raised by planners, including trees and biodiversity. Those surveys would be completed shortly, and he asked members to defer a decision until they were complete.

Councillor Andrew Loy (Cons, Ilkley) pointed out that even if these issues were addressed, they made up just two of the five reasons for refusal.

Mrs Fillingham said: “The main reason for the refusal is the design impact on neighbours and allowing Green Belt to be changed into a garden area.

“I can’t see how any changes could address these issues.”

Councillor Marcus Dearden (Lab, Bingley) said: “It would set such a bad example if we deferred this. This shouldn’t be here, it is such a ridiculous application.

“It is impossible to build a three-storey house on land that wide. There are so many reasons for refusal, deferring this won’t help.”

Councillor Chris Herd (Cons, Worth Valley) said: “This site just doesn’t look big enough to build anything good.”

After hearing the concerns, Cllr Hussain agreed to withdraw the application.

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