Extra windows in a new flats complex being developed in Halifax have been permitted, despite concerns from neighbours about privacy and noise.
Calderdale Council’s Planning Committee approved the plans submitted by Prospect Estates Ltd, which is converting the former Calderdale Council Adult Health and Social Care Centre at Park Road, Halifax, into 38 flats.
Objectors to the applications, particularly a residential neighbour at one side and a business neighbour at the other had expressed concerns, the former about loss of privacy and about light and noise pollution and the latter because the development was next to a working business during the day.
Ward Councillor Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) asked that the issue been considered by the committee and her ward colleague Councillor Mohammed Naeem (Labour) put her concerns to the committee.
In particular she felt proposals to put windows into the building facing the residential neighbour seriously breached the right to privacy.
And there must be a concern about the amenity of the flats’ residents whose windows would face onto the commercial neighbour’s premises.
An objector reiterated similar concerns and said six windows in that part of the building would be “quite overwhelming”.
In the 1980s, when it began to be occupied Monday to Friday as a workplace, it was a greed there should be no windows facing the residential property to protect residents.
Councillor Carol Machell (Lab, Todmorden) pointed out these would be bedroom windows which would not be used in the same way as living area windows and that would go some way towardes mitigating the issue.
The windows would be only just over five metres from the residential neighbour’s home, well below the usual 15 metres, but where infill developments like this were concerned planners were told to take a more pragmatic approach, said planning officers in their report.
In the case of windows looking out onto the business, the applicant’s agent said they would be acoustic glazed windows.
Before the final go-ahead is given the type of windows will have to be signed off by planners.
Councillor Faisal Shoukat (Lab, Park) said the garage business on the other side was a body shop which was open most of the day and it was likely a lot of complaints about noise might end up being forthcoming from residents of the flats.
Councillor Paul Bellinger (Liberal Democrat, Greetland and Stainland) said some concerns he had about the development – for example, some internal bedrooms did not have windows – meant he would abstain in the vote. “I don’t want to put my name to this at all,” he said.
Although not all councillors were happy, the proposal, which planning officers recommended should be given the go-ahead subject to conditions, was approved.