Agenda item

Garages at Cranford Drive, Hayes - 77448/APP/2023/1159

Demolition of existing lock-up garages and construction of 4 no. 2-bedroom houses.


Recommendation: Approval


RESOLVED: That the application be approved.


Before the start of this item, Councillor Mand recused himself from the room.


Officers delivered a detailed presentation summarising the application and highlighted that the application was recommended for approval subject to the conditions set out in the officer’s report.


A petition had been received objecting to the proposals. The petition organiser was present and addressed the Committee. Key points raised in their address included:


·         There were serious concerns raised over the impact that the proposals would have regarding the privacy and overlooking of residents on Cranford Drive, specifically with regard to the close proximity of the two storey buildings being proposed. Petitioners felt that this was in breach of policy DMH 6 of the Hillingdon Local Plan Part 2. There were also concerns raised that the new properties would overlook the adjacent public amenity space.

·         It was highlighted that various trees in the gardens of current residents would be encroaching on the proposed 1.5m wide alleyway to be shared by the occupants of the new development. It was felt that this could lead to conflict between neighbours and that there would be a constant flow of people within the small alleyway.

·         The petitioner noted that there would be an unacceptable loss of daylight/sunlight impacting neighbouring residential amenities. Further to this, numbers 178 and 180 had small extensions when compared to other properties which made the daylight/sunlight impact more substantial for the other properties.

·         The removal of trees was of concern and their replacement would take a significant amount of time to mature. The distance between the development and the motorway was around 40m and the trees were significant in providing greenery and mitigating noise emanating from the motorway.

·         There were concerns regarding the increase in traffic and noise on what was already a busy road in close proximity to Cranford Park Academy.

·         The Committee were encouraged to conduct a site visit to see the parameters of the site first hand and understand why the petitioners felt that the new development would constitute overcrowding.


The applicant was also present and addressed the Committee. Key points raised during their address included:


·         One car parking space would be provided for each of the proposed houses in accordance with London Plan policies and secure cycle storage would also be provided in each garden. It was also confirmed that the Highways Authority had no objection to the proposals.

·         The applicant had arranged a specialist daylight/sunlight study, as requested by planning officers, which confirmed that there were no undue impacts on the surrounding properties. Attention was drawn to the officer’s report which stated that “overall, the proposed development would have an acceptable impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties.

·         All existing dwellings around the site fronted onto public roads accessible to fire and emergency vehicles.

·         The site was currently fully occupied by hardstanding and garages. The proposed site layout showed a significant proportion of the land coverage would be changed to trees, communal planting and gardens. The Borough’s Tree Officer also considered the proposals acceptable.

·         The size of the dwellings and their gardens exceeded the London Plan recommended minimum sizes and the officer’s report indicated that a condition would be applied, should the application be approved, which would ensure the construction included special measures to mitigate noise from the nearby motorway.


A written representation had also been received from Councillors Gill and Lakhmana of Pinkwell Ward. Their statement was read out for the Committee, key points raised included:


·         The proposed construction of two-storey houses directly adjacent to the current residences on Cranford Drive, with only a 1.5-meter alleyway in between, posed a significant threat to the privacy of existing and future residents. Disregarding Policy DMH 6 of the Hillingdon Local Plan Part 2.

·         The presence of trees within the gardens of current residents encroached upon the shared alleyway/main entrance used by new residents.

·         Clarity was requested regarding daylight/sunlight measurements where the petitioners felt there was a significant impact on daylight/sunlight loss.

·         The proposal to cut seven mature trees and replant new ones may negatively impact air quality, especially in an area already compromised by pollution and nearby to a primary school.

·         The narrow alleyway of 1.5 meters raised concerns about delayed fire and emergency access, with sprinkler systems not being sufficient to cover the potential risks.

·         Given the ongoing development of approximately 1,000 new homes in the Pinkwell Ward, further strain on public roads and schools was expected. The limited parking spaces for new houses and the shared entrance with the place of worship and food bank would exacerbate overcrowding issues.

·         New residents were allocated less than 60 sqm of outdoor space, which was below the requirement. The reliance on a nearby public park not owned by the developer to meet this requirement raised concerns about privacy and adequacy of private outdoor spaces.


Officers clarified that the 1.5m alleyway would have the rear fences of the Cranford Drive properties to one side and the proposed four new dwellings to the other side; it was confirmed that there would not be any overlooking from the alleyway into the Cranford Drive properties. In terms of the new dwellings there would be a first storey hallway window which would be obscure glazed to prevent overlooking from the new dwellings towards the Cranford Drive properties. The narrowness of the alleyway had been raised by the petitioner as a concern, officers confirmed that the 1.5m width was accessible for those using the alleyway including, bikes, pushchairs, wheelchairs and those taking refuse bins out.


With regard to trees, it was confirmed that seven trees were going to be removed and five were going to be replaced. The Committee felt it necessary to add to the landscaping condition to ensure that all seven trees were replaced.


On the daylight/sunlight concerns highlighted by the petitioners and the ward councillors, officers had highlighted that there was a marginal breach in the 25-degree line measurement by the peak of the gable of the proposed dwellings. Due to the breach, officers wanted to ensure that a separate assessment of the daylight/sunlight matters occurred. The subsequent report received showed that there would be no significant loss of light and no significant overshadowing. Despite the marginal breach, officers deemed this to be acceptable.


Petitioners and Ward Councillors had raised concerns regarding traffic levels, officers highlighted that the existing 24 garages on the site, should they have been in regular use, would have generated more traffic than the four dwellings proposed.


Officers clarified that, with regard to policy DMH 6 of the Hillingdon Local Plan Part 2, the report addressed these concerns noting that this was an exceptional case where backland development was deemed acceptable due to the brownfield nature of the site, street access leading to the site and that it was already an area of hardstanding.


Highlighting potential concerns around anti-social behaviour within the alleyway, the Committee sought to ensure more detailed information on how the proposal would address potential criminality. It was deemed that officers would investigate these matters further with the agent and the details would be referred back to the Chairman.


The officer’s recommendation, in addition to the proposed amendments to the conditions and the amendments included in the addendum, was moved, seconded, and when put to a vote, agreed by four votes to one.




1)    That the application be approved;

2)    That the landscaping condition be amended to require the replacement of all seven of the removed trees with high carbon-absorbing mature trees;

3)    That officers seek further detail from the agent with regard to mitigation of anti-social behaviour in the alleyway and refer this information back to the Chairman.



Supporting documents: