Neighbours divided over Hackney councillor's bid to turn garage into a house
PUBLISHED: 14:50 02 May 2014 | UPDATED: 16:10 02 May 2014
A Tory councillor's bid to turn the garage at the end of his back garden into a three-bedroom house has divided Stoke Newington residents.
Cllr Bernard Aussenberg and his wife want to convert the garage at their Lordship Park property, which was originally built without planning permission and last used as unauthorised storage for a floristry business.
Construction of the single storey house and basement will entail knocking down a tree and some residents have complained it will block out their view of Clissold Park across Queen Elizabeth’s Walk.
In total 17 neighbours lodged complaints about the proposals, moaning that the flat-roofed design is poor, too big and does not enhance the conservation area.
They have also pointed out that the development goes against the London Plan, which has a policy against back garden developments.
The Stoke Newington Conservation Area Advisory Committee also raised an objection, stating the proposal would set an “unfortunate precedent” for building in back gardens there.
Meanwhile nine letters of support, including two petitions containing 41 signatures, were also received by the council, from neighbours welcoming the removal of the derelict garage and addition of a family-sized home, who praised the “well-planned, outstanding” architecture.
Council planning officer Mary O’Shaughnessy recommended planning permission be granted. “Overall the layout is acceptable in design terms,” said Ms Shaughnessy in her report.
“However, the basement area is likely to affect the existing tree on site and potentially trees within the neighbouring properties.
“Hence the provision of a basement floor and the extent of the development are subject to assessment by the tree officer.”
Because the applicant is a councillor, the application will be heard at a Town Hall planning committee meeting this Wednesday.
The Gazette attempted to contact Cllr Aussenberg but did not get a response.