Permission for two self-build homes on an estate in York has been granted despite concerns one will “loom” over neighbours.
The two houses will be where 36 and 38 Dane Avenue used to stand, which were demolished in 2021 after structural defects were discovered in 2017.
They were British Steel and Iron Foundation (BSIF) houses, as are the rest of Dane Avenue and were built in 1946 and 1947.
A report from a City of York Council planning committee, which met on Tuesday, October 10, to discuss the plans, notes the impact on neighbours.
It says: “Concerns have been expressed by 40 Dane Avenue with regard to the position of dwelling two in conjunction with the raised land level of the application site and the potential for the new dwelling to appear dominant and loom over their property.”
Coun Mark Warters said: “I just wonder when the decision was made to propose two detached properties, rather than semi-detached?
“And when the decision was made to make these self-build rather than put it out to a recognised developer?
“Self-build to me is something that could drag on for years and the fact that there are two detached dwellings on there, I can fully understand the objections from no.40.”
Tim Moon, the City of York Council’s community and self-build officer, said: “The council is required to keep a register of people who are interested in building their own homes and we’re also required to deliver enough planning approvals to meet that demand on a rolling three-year basis.
“We’re currently down on those numbers under that legislation, as most councils are, and this was felt that this plot could help boost those numbers.”
He added that building two homes rather than one “would maximise the sales receipt of the council.”
Coun Warters said: “I think the whole premise of this development on this site is wrong.
“We heard from the officer it’s about maximising revenue to the council.
“Surely it should be about providing affordable housing or, better still, council housing on that site in an appropriate form, which would match what’s already there.
“It should be built in such a way to minimise disruption to neighbouring residents, which self-build clearly won’t.
“I appreciate they’re not planning reasons for refusal but I’ll be saying the layout is an incongruous feature.
“That would be my reason for refusal.”
However, coun Ben Burton said: “From my understanding of self-build and having worked in the council before, and working in housing development, there’s an issue with building a small number of homes and the costs relating to building a small number of homes.
“So, any proceeds from this will go back into building additional houses elsewhere.
“Sometimes it’s about efficient uses of resources and how we generate money to use elsewhere [and that] is potentially what they’re thinking about.”
The plans were approved by the planning committee.