Family banned from turning garage into dining room  

Garage row in Ely

Garage at this home in Gateway Gardens, Ely, cannot be converted for use as an extension to dining area, rules East Cambs planners. - Credit: ECDC

A family that says they have never used their garage – and have no intention of ever doing so – cannot convert it into a dining room and lounge.  

East Cambs planners told  the family: “The proposal would lead to the loss of the garage which would leave the site with no parking spaces on site.  

“The proposal is therefore unacceptable as it would remove all parking available for the plot and detrimentally exacerbates the on-street parking.” 

The family had asked permission to convert the garage at her Gateway Gardens home to create a large open plan ground floor.  

The integrated garage would have been retained its existing door “so visually from the road, the building will look the same”.  

And they said an area of the garage would be retained for storage with a door into the new open plan area.  

"We proposed to fit a bifold door to match existing white UPVC windows in the existing opening at the rear of the garage backing on to our enclosed garden,” said the applicants. 

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“During our time living in the property, we have never used the garage to park our vehicle and have used purely for storage.  

“There is ample parking directly outside our property where our vehicle has always been parked.” 

The only objection was from the City of Ely Council.  

They expressed “concerns with regards to the loss of the garage which will reduce parking and force more off-site parking, including possible use of the turning circle”.  

But despite finding nothing wrong, in principle, with the plans, planning officers turned up a condition on the original estate which insists garages and car ports should be retained for parking only.  

“It is noted on the original plans that this car port was described as a drive through car port,” they pointed out. 

“Despite the labelling it is unknown if the drive through has ever been used for that purpose.  

“The proposed ‘garage’ conversion would result in no parking provisions being available to the dwelling.  

“This would result in a cumulative detrimental impact on on-street parking which would result in an adverse impact on the existing highway safety as this will cause additional on street parking.” 

They added: “No properties should solely rely on on- street parking as this cannot be guaranteed.”