Shropshire Star

Council's row with disabled resident who wants to build a garden room to aid with independent living

The council remain embroiled in a row with a disabled resident who wants to build a garden room to aid with their independent living.

Plans for a garden room to be built at a property in Jubilee Avenue, Donnington, will be considered by a planning inspector (Photo: Google).

Applicant Paul Smith wants to ‘enhance’ the Jubilee Avenue property in Donnington with the outbuilding and make it fully accessible to wheelchair users.

Previously his proposal to build a single-storey side and rear extension to the property along with a garden room was refused by a planning inspector last year.

The applicant re-submitted plans in January for the building solely of a garden room.

However, Telford & Wrekin Council refused the plans and following an appeal a planning inspector will now have the final say.

The outbuilding would include a gymnasium, physio room, home office and fitted with a ‘large’ toilet and wet room.

“The outbuilding will also feature roof mounted hoists which dictate the minimum size, ceiling height and configuration of the building,” said the applicant in a planning document. “The size can not be reduced and when assessed alone should be acceptable.

“Care has been taken to design the scheme with accessibility in mind, to make the best use of the space available.”

The applicant said that comments from the council’s planning officer and the previous planning inspectorate resulted in the roof type of the outbuilding being changed.

Letters of support were sent from six different people including an occupational health advisor, support worker and a planning consultant. No objections were made by Donnington & Muxton Parish Council or anybody else.

Telford & Wrekin Council refused the plans stating that the garden room is ‘considered to detract from the appearance of the host dwelling and the street scene and would constitute a significant overdevelopment of the site.’

They added that due to a combination of its size and being positioned along the property’s rear boundary it would have an ‘overbearing impact on the residential amenity of the neighbouring properties’.

A council planning officer highlighted that the footprint of the garden room is 64.5 square metres (m2), whilst the footprint of the original house is only 41m2. They said that this meant the garden room would be 63 per cent bigger than the original house.

“Whilst the footprint of the proposed outbuilding is not only considerably greater than that of the existing outbuildings in the street scene, it is also larger than the footprint of the host dwelling itself,” the planning officer concluded.

“It is considered that the considerable scale of the proposed garden room will visually overwhelm the appearance of the rear garden and unduly dominate an otherwise predominantly green and spacious area.

“It is appreciated that the garden room is for the needs of a disabled person and the local planning authority are sympathetic to this.

“The proposed development will only benefit the occupiers of the host dwelling and it is considered that the harm caused to the appearance of the host dwelling and the area as a whole outweighs the benefit, for which it is considered, in the opinion of the local planning authority, has not been full justified.”