Agenda item

21/02281/FUL, Land Adjacent to 36 Falkirk, Killingworth

To determine a full planning application from Mrs Jackson for change of use from open space to residential C3 garden space including the erection of a 1.8m fence. 


The Committee considered a report from the planning officers, together with an addendum circulated prior to the meeting, in relation to a full planning application from Mrs Jackson for a change of use from open space to residential C3 garden space including the erection of a 1.8m fence.


A planning officer presented details of the application with the aid of various maps, plans and photographs.


In accordance with the Committee’s Speaking Rights Scheme, Councillor Janice Mole, a councillor for the Camperdown Ward, had been granted permission to speak to the Committee on behalf of Councillor Jim Allan. Councillor Mole explained that the fence had been erected in April 2021 and it had drawn numerous objections from residents living nearby the property. The land was not owned but maintained by the Council therefore permission would need to be granted by the Council as the responsible body but no permission had been sought nor approved. The fence was contrary to the area and posed a safety issue because of its height and impact on both natural light and street lighting, creating a narrow pathway contrary to public safety. Councillor Mole asked that the application be declined and that the enforcement team be requested to take immediate action. 


Marcus Jackson on behalf of his wife, the applicant, addressed the Committee to respond. He explained the problems that he had experienced with people using the land as a dog toilet, an escape route for anti-social behaviour and littering and so he had investigated the possibility of acquiring the land. He described the steps he had taken to establish who owned the land, understand the Council’s and the developers interests in the land and the implications of fencing off the land under the Land Registry’s adverse possession rules. He had read guidance on whether planning permission would be required but was not aware that a change of use would be required. Since the land had been fenced off the anti-social problems had stopped. He did not believe that the fence blocked views of the estate, he considered that there were few local objections and there was support for the fence from the nearest neighbour who overlooked the area. 


Members of the Committee asked questions of the speakers and officers and made comments. In doing so the Committee gave particular consideration to:

a) the applicant’s intention to use the area of land as a garden;

b) the process requiring the applicant to publish a public notice seeking to establish ownership of the land; and

c) the loss of open space and the impact of the development on the character and visual amenity of the area.


Resolved that (1) the Committee is minded to refuse the application for the reasons set out in the Planning Officers report; and

(2) the Director of Housing, Environment and Leisure be granted delegated authority to determine the application following the expiry of the consultation period associated with the publication of a public notice by the applicant relating to the ownership of the land.


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