Council shuts the door on garage conversion

Fourth Drove, Little Downham, where a garage conversion has been blocked.

Fourth Drove, Little Downham, where a garage conversion has been blocked. - Credit: Google

A council scuppered proposals for a garage – built five years ago to store a mobile home- to be turned into a separate house  

East Cambridgeshire District Council says the proposal for 10 Fourth Drove, Little Downham, is outside of the development area for the village. 

Planners could find no justification for the conversion,   

Their report said "The application referenced the need of the building to store the applicants’ mobile home in, thus justifying the scale of the building. 

“It is noted that the proposed conversion would remove the facility to store a mobile home and therefore changes the function of the outbuilding.  

“No information has been submitted to justify the loss of this provision." 

Planners said the proposal is situated outside of the development envelope of Little Downham in the countryside, where housing is restricted.  

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Planners summed up the proposed conversion. 

Their report says the existing garage is agricultural in its appearance. 

It was “deemed acceptable” under the previous permissions due to the proximity of the site to large agricultural buildings in the area.  

Given that the garage already exists, its impact on the area and alongside neighbouring properties would not be a major consideration. 

"Neighbour concerns raised comments regarding the proposal being out of keeping with the area, however due to the existing building already being constructed, the built form in this location is considered to have been justified,” says the report. 

“The application would be considering the change of use only rather that the built form that exists.  

“The building is large and has a height of 9 metres, however as the external changes would comprise only of fenestration details the proposed dwelling would be considered acceptable in terms of its visual impact.” 

Officers added that since April 2020 the council has been able to demonstrate an adequate five-year housing land supply and the most recent report confirms the council maintains a housing land supply.  

The most recent five-year land supply report, published October 2021 confirms, when expressed in years, the dwelling supply is equivalent to 7.00 years supply of housing land (up to 31 December 2021).  

“This adequate housing land supply means that the council considers its policies relating to housing delivery up-to-date and gives them full weight in the determination of this application,” it adds.