Agenda item

Agenda item

135281/FO/2022 - 32 Montcliffe Crescent, Manchester, M16 8GR - Whalley Range Ward

The report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing is enclosed.


The Committee considered the report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing that presented an application that sought the retention of a 3-bedroom single storey dwelling house (Class C3) in the rear garden of a two storey dwellinghouse known as 32 Montcliffe Crescent in the Whalley Range Ward.


This application relates to the rear garden of a modern two storey detached house within the Whalley Range ward. The property has a single storey side extension and gardens to the front and rear. There is a drive at the front of the property and a garage in the rear garden which has been demolished and replaced with a single storey 3-bedroom dwellinghouse that is the subject of this application. The original dwellinghouse fronts a footpath linking Montcliffe Crescent to Stoneyfield Close. Montcliffe Crescent runs along the eastern side of the site where access is provided by a double metal gate to the single storey dwellinghouse in the rear garden.


The planning officer did not add anything by way of a statement.

No objector to the application attended or made any representations.


The applicant’s agent for the application addressed the Committee and stated the family’s reasons for retaining the building at 32 Montcliffe Crescent, stating that the dwelling had been built for the family’s disabled daughter (a single mother) and her 3 children. The children were attending a school in the area, and it was hoped that the family would not have to be re-housed and need to find other school places as a result. The family’s needs would not easily be met outside of Whalley Range. The agent stated that these are challenging times and there would be a long waiting list for the family to await a housing solution in Manchester. The agent wished for the Planning Committee to support this family and overturn the officer’s recommendation of Refuse for the application.


The planning officer stated that this was decision was made all the more difficult in that the premises was currently occupied but added that there had been 2 previous applications for planning permission at this site that had been withdrawn due to having not been supported by the Planning team at the city council. Any public benefits of the scheme would be outweighed by the harm caused. Other extensions in this location had been granted but these differed in that they formed part of the main dwelling/garden and were not a separate dwelling with own fencing and sub-standard garden, parking and mentioned that this site, having already been built, was cramped and out of character for the area. The planning officer requested the Committee to refuse the application.


Councillor Leech asked how long the dwelling had been occupied.


The planning officer did not know but stated that it was not occupied prior to the previous, withdrawn applications.


Councillor Leech asked if the applicants were aware that the previous applications were deemed unsuitable by the Planning team.


The planning officer stated that they would have been made aware of this.


Councillor Lovecy felt some sympathy with the family and asked about dimensions of the building and if they met expected standards.


The planning officer confirmed that the overall floorspace of the dwelling was deemed below standards expected for a three bedroomed building for four occupants.


Councillor Andrews referred to the report whereby it stated that previous applications would not have been granted and asked what timescale would be given for the family to relocate if the Committee agreed with the officer’s recommendation of Refusal for this application.


The planning officer stated that there would be a period of negotiation to agree an appropriate timescale to allow the family to relocate. Ideally, there would be no need to issue an enforcement, but the planning officer added that there would still be reasonable negotiations if notice was served on the occupants.

Councillor Davies referred to the report and a table which showed the planning history, noting that withdrawals of previous applications had been implemented prior to the building work beginning. Councillor Davies enquired about the legal aspect of removing the family, any conditions attached in this regard and the following phrasing in the Late Reps report “Compliance with the Equality Duty involves consciously thinking about the aims of the Equality Duty as part of the process of decision-making.”


The Director of Planning stated that there would be regard paid to the Equality Act, that there was an understanding of the family having a disabled member and added that there was no prescribed way of dealing with “consciously thinking about the aims of the Equality Duty.”


Councillor Davies asked what would happen if the Committee support the officer’s recommendation to refuse this application and whether the decision to remove the family is not legally a part of the Committee’s decision.


The Director of Planning stated that all factors have been considered in making the recommendation to the Committee and it is expected that the Committee take all factors into account in their decision making.


Councillor Andrews moved the officer’s recommendation of Refuse for the application and requested that any enforcement action taken would be over an appropriate period of time, taking account of the circumstances of the occupants at the property.


Councillor Lovecy seconded the proposal.




The Committee resolved to refuse the application for the reasons detailed in the reports submitted.

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