Please contact us if you have concerns about any planning application. Recent responses from Whtiby Civic Society's Planning Group to Scarborough Borough Council include:
Planning Application 19/02865/FL Middle Earth Tavern, Church Street
- Installation of glazed balcony and replacement of two windows with doors at first floor. Installation of removable railings and decking to courtyard at ground floor level, all to front elevation.
Whitby Civic Society objects to this application. This listed pair of buildings is in the Conservation Area, and the Planning Authority is therefore required to ensure that it meets the aim of preserving and enhancing the character and appearance of the area. Much of the application seems substantially same as 19/00246/LB, which the planning authority rejected on the grounds that the balcony would harm the appearance of the building, while the proposed doors and windows would be inconsistent with the rest of the building. These problems also characterise the present application; glazed guarding is not in character with the area; the proposed first floor windows, judging by the proposed front elevations, are not in keeping with the rest of the building. In addition, the plans now include a parking space which appears to be on the public pavement; this would set a worrying precedent for other properties if permitted. In addition, the parking space is hard up against a wall and appears to block a fire escape, and has insufficient space to download a wheelchair; we cannot find any proposal for disabled access to the balcony.
Planning Application 20/00747/LB 21 St Hildas Terrace
- Retention of existing car park, subject to a 3m reduction in length. Provision of bin store.
Whitby Civic Society wishes to object strongly to this application. While a reduction in length is an improvement, the extension of the car park is unacceptable. The authority, in its original decision to permit the car park, imposed conditions that were intended to "conserve the setting of this listed building and the townscape character of St Hilda's Terrace". Subsequent expansion of the car park appears to have been undertaken without permission, and without action by the Planning Authority, despite the fact that the Authority is required by statute to act in such a way as to preserve and enhance the appearance and character of the Conservation Area. This is an iconic elegant Georgian terrace; the extended car park is highly visible from the street and from Pannett Park, and detracts from the townscape. Furthermore the energy meters ranged across the edge of the car park are an eyesore, and there is no current proposal to screen the bin store. Finally, if approved, this development would set a worrying precedent for similar developments elsewhere on this historic terrace.
We were surprised and disapppionted to see that the Authority proposes to treat this as a delegated decision. Given the gravity of this case, we believe it should be considered by the elected members.
Planning Application 20/00514/LB 21 St Hildas Terrace
- Retrospective terracing and external works to garden of Flat 1 21 St Hilda's Terrace including walls and planting areas
This property is a Grade II* Listed Building, fronted by a separately listed Grade II brick wall. It is well within the boundary of Whitby Conservation Area. It is currently under an Article 4 constraint requiring 'No alteration to external appearance or the property without the permission of the Local Planning Authority'. It sits in the middle of an iconic terrace of attractive Georgian houses that is visible from the street as well as from Pannett Park, and represents a significant heritage asset.
We objected strongly to the previous applications concerning the walls, and were very surprised to see our comments reported to the planning committee as comprising 'positive and negative comments'. We therefore reiterate our judgement that the proposed wall is far too high, and we repeat our view that it should be reduced by ten courses. At its proposed height the wall will be out of keeping with the building and with the remainder of the Terrace, and accordingly will harm rather than enhance the character and appearance of this part of Whitby Conservation Area.
We note that this is not the view of the developer's heritage consultant. Her report claims that the wall 'minimises impact and maximises enhancement', but she provides no evidence for enhancement, and we have seen no engineering evidence that supports the claim that a wall of this height is required. She states that the wall 'is considered necessary' but does not say who has made this judgement or on what basis. She does not address the fact that the wall is clearly visible from the street, and thus disrupts this iconic streetscape.
While we are aware that there is some risk of being misinterpreted as somehow supporting theapplication, we have no objection to the use of reclaimed brick, and we are broadly satisfied with the planting approach proposed.
We are amazed that the planning authority should be asked yet again to approve the works that the developer has already carried out. We have objected to previous applications relating to the unauthorised wall; these have either been withdrawn or refused. Further, the application should not be considered in isolation; the only justification for the wall so far presented appears to be that it is required because of the car park, which was itself extended without planning permission. Although this application does not relate to the car park, the unauthorised wall and the unauthorised extension are clearly linked.
Currently, a fine building has the appearance of a semi-derelict building site, thanks to two sets of unauthorised works. This situation has now dragged on since 2015, and we are deeply disappointed in the authority's inability or unwillingness to protect such an important heritage asset. We now find ourselves forced to question whether the authority has the capacity or will to carry out its statutory duty of preserving and enhancing such an important element of the Conservation Area.
Planning Application 20/00764/AA Cex 61 Baxtergate
- 1no fascia and 1no projecting sign
Whitby Civic Society wishes to object to this application. The building is Grade II listed and is sited in the heart of Whitby Conservation Area, placing the authority under a statutory obligation to protect and enhance the character and appearance of the street. The applicant has chosen not to comply with the recommendations for heritage colours given in the Conservation Area Management Plan, so that the proposed colour scheme is out of character with the area and runs counter to the Authority's Management Policies 7 and 8. The applicant's case appears to be based solely on claims about the market situation, which is unsupported by evidence and anyway is not a material planning consideration. We agree with the applicant that some other premises on Baxtergate have used non-heritage colours, and the authority is of course under an obligation to consider this in any future planning application affecting premises whose fascia are out of character.