Development Management Plan Consultation Document 3rd February - 27th April 2012

Ended on the 27 April 2012
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(3)4 Housing and the Community – Policy Options

Conversions of dwellings

The issue

4.1 It is an aim of the Planning Strategy to promote a good and appropriate mix of dwellings across Hastings. To help achieve this, some guidance over the conversion of dwellings might be required, especially in terms retaining certain types of housing in some areas. The proposed use and how the loss of the existing use is managed may also be important considerations.

(2)Option 1: A policy to guide conversions of dwellings

4.2 This option introduces a policy basis for managing the conversion of dwellings and highlights it as an important issue requiring specific detail, in addition to that already provided in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

To protect the character of established residential areas and to retain existing housing stock, converting all or part of a dwelling to flats or maisonettes will only be permitted provided that:

  • The building can no longer be retained in its entirety for single family housing occupancy in accordance with modern standards;

  • The proposals are in general conformity with other policies in this plan;

  • It would not include significant extension(s) or significant changes to room layouts to achieve an adequate standard of accommodation;

  • It would not involve the self-containment of basement areas or other parts of any property having inadequate light or low ceilings or which would result in a poor outlook from main windows; and

  • It would make adequate provision for refuse storage.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

4.3 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue

Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

4.4 It could be sufficient to rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

(1)Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent.

4.5 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential planning applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

4.6 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Relationship to other plans

Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 2 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Policy H4

(1)The change of use of a dwelling for a business use

The issue

4.8 With changing work patterns, particularly involving the use of Information Technology, home working or live-work spaces are becoming more important. Not all changes of this kind require planning permission but where they do they shall be generally encouraged, to help the local economy. Nevertheless, to retain the character of residential areas and to protect amenity it is important to consider the use of buildings and only allowing appropriate changes of use. Maintaining the number of dwellings in the district to meet the needs of the community is an important consideration. This issue, however, might not necessarily justify a policy in its own right; it could be included in a greater detailed version of potential policies from the general guidance from earlier in this document.

(1)Option 1: A policy to guide the change of use of a dwelling for a business use

This option introduces a policy basis for managing the change of use of dwellings for business use and highlights it as an important issue requiring specific detail, in addition to that already provided in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

Permissions to allow a change of use to part of a dwelling or permission to erect a new building related to the dwelling in order to operate a business or work from home, will be granted provided the following criteria are met:

  1. No significant detriment to the character of the building and surroundings would result, either from the activity on the site or collection/delivery of materials.

  2. The business will employ no more than one person in addition to the owner. The business use must be ancillary to the overall use of the site for residential purposes.

  3. Business activities will be contained within the non-residential part of the dwelling.

  4. Adequate access and parking is available within the site to cater for both domestic and business needs.

  5. Any sales (retail or wholesale) shall be ancillary or incidental to the employment activity on the site. No sales shall take place of goods which are not manufactured or processed on the site.

  6. The curtilage is adequate to site any proposed building without significant detriment to surrounding residential area.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

4.10 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue.

Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

4.11 It could be sufficient to rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

(1)Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent.

4.12 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

4.13 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Relationship to other plans

4.14 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 1, 2 and 5

Local Plan (2004): Policy H5

(1)Residential institutions

(1)The issue

4.15 Where residential institutions are proposed a reasonable balanced has to be achieved between the needs of the prospective occupants and the local amenity of existing residents.

4.16 A mixture of housing types contributes to sustainable communities, but it is also important that types of development occur in appropriate locations. Proposed developments should be to meet identified local needs.

4.17 Any proposal for a residential institution must prove that it is reflective of local character and meets the specific requirements of prospective inhabitants; design, access and location in relation to services and facilities are of particular importance, but the weight of each criteria will depend upon the precise nature of the proposals.

(2)Option 1: A policy to manage proposals involving residential institutions

4.18 This option introduces a policy basis for managing proposals involving residential institutions and would highlight it as an important issue requiring specific detail. This is specific detail, in addition to that already provided in this consultation document.

Suggested policy:

Planning applications for residential institutions, and housing including for the elderly, infirm and physically and sensory impaired should comply with the following criteria:

  1. The site is accessible by public transport, particularly at off-peak times when visitor trips are likely to be at their highest.

  2. The site should be reasonably level and large enough to accommodate adequate parking, room for delivery vehicles and amenity space.

  3. Changing the use of an existing building should not detrimentally affect its character or setting.

  4. Account will be taken of existing accommodation in the locality to ensure an adequate stock of general housing remains for all sectors of the community.

  5. Access and parking arrangements should take account of people with physical and sensory disabilities.

Option 2: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and add detail to the suggested policies of the general guidance section to deal with it

4.19 This guidance could be incorporate into a general policy on development guidance. This approach, however, might make it harder for potential applicant to appreciate the importance of this issue.

Option 3: Not to have a specific policy for this issue and rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy

4.20 It could be sufficient to rely upon national guidance and the Planning Strategy. This option would allow greater flexibility in the consideration of planning applications, but could lead to less consistent decisions. This approach may also have the consequence of there not being enough specific guidance for development to suit the town.

(1)Option 4: To make the policy more or less stringent

4.21 There might be an option to make the policy less stringent. This could allow for a more flexible approach to considering potential applications, but might result in less efficient decisions through the need for increased investigations.

4.22 Or it could be argued that any guidance should be more stringent, this could stifle development however, and this could also lead to decisions not being made in a consistent manner.

Relationship to other plans:

4.23 Planning Strategy (2012): Objectives: 2 and 5

Local Plan (2004): CN9

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