A Planning Catastrophe
From time to time in planning we see some very quirky developments and some very quirky decisions, sometimes in relatively sensitive environments.
From time to time in planning we see some very quirky developments and some very quirky decisions, sometimes in relatively sensitive environments. People may remember the famous Oxford 'Shark in a Roof' or more recently, Zipporah Lisle Mainwaring's stripy red and white-painted mews house case in Kensington.
Now Yorkshire can add one such example to this list of peculiar planning stories: that of the case of the 'Huddersfield Catio'. The owners of an end-terrace house in the Marsden Conservation Area, fearing for the safety of their moggies, installed a set of meshed fences in their front garden without planning permission.
Sadly when they did apply, the application was refused and then dismissed on appeal. The Inspector said:
"Although located at the end of the terrace the proposed cat containment area would include vertical stanchions of considerable height in relation to other structures nearby. They would be an alien feature in the setting of the terrace. Whilst the netting to be attached to the stanchions would be capable of being seen through it seems unlikely to me that it can be regarded as 'almost invisible'. That would be particularly true at close quarters."
He went on to conclude that: "The proposed development would introduce an incongruous feature to the Conservation Area and would be harmful to its character and appearance."
Our planner Sophie Cattlin sees the case as one where the siting and design of the structure was out of keeping with its surroundings:
Often, seemingly innocuous schemes can fail foul of national and local policies on the question of design and aesthetics. Early consultation with a planning professional can avoid this kind of outcome.