Planning Application for Cycle Store in Front Garden


Friday, December 2nd, 2011. 3:34am


102 Hartington Grove.

102 Hartington Grove, Including the Cycle/Bin Store

A planning application has been submitted to Cambridge City Council for a bike shed and bin store in the front garden of 102 Hartington Grove.

Comments are currently being sought on the application’s webpage.

As it is a retrospective application the structure in question is present in the image associated with this article.

I have submitted the following:

I support this application.

I think that the requirement for planning permission for this structure is bonkers. I think it is state interference in people’s lives gone bananas.

The structure is much less intrusive than many parked vehicles could be.

To encourage cycling in the city I would suggest the council ought find a way of permitting this kind of cycle store without the bureaucracy involved in gaining planning permission.

This is the second case I’ve seen recently where retrospective planning application has been submitted to the City Council for bike storage along these lines in a front garden. While walking around the city it can be seen that such structures are relatively common (though you have to actively look to see them). If we want to encourage cycling people need secure and dry places to store their bikes, especially if they are decent bikes for practical everyday use. I think this kind of minor modification to a home ought be generally permitted to let people adapt their homes to suit their lives.

I wonder what has prompted this application and wonder if city council planners have too little to do as housing development has slowed, and/or perhaps they are seeking new sources of revenue (there are charges for making planning applications).

It appears the structure is relatively new, so a little stark in terms of colour due to the new wood; but that could easily be sorted with some staining, or simply waiting a year or two.

I understand my comments have gone beyond the scope of the consideration of this individual application; I wonder though if something could be done, perhaps during next year’s review of the local plan, to make installing unobtrusive cycle parking in-front of homes in Cambridge possible without the excessive bureaucracy.

Cycle theft is a major problem in Cambridge and I think the council should be encouraging, not working against, those taking action to secure their bikes.

9 comments/updates on “Planning Application for Cycle Store in Front Garden

  1. cobweb

    The only possible reason I could think of for this is that it might be a conservation area. Even then, since it could be removed, to insist on a retrospective application seems like nit picking. It’s even partly hidden by the hedge!

  2. David

    I’m guessing this needs planning permission because it’s less than 2 metres from the highway. Presumably if it had wheels then consent would not be needed.

  3. Richard Taylor Article author

    Cambridge City Council have written to me (on paper, in an envelope, by post) to tell me this application has been “Granted permission, by senior officers, under delegated powers”.

  4. Richard Taylor Article author

    Councillors at Cambridge’s West/Central Area Committee on the 14th of November discussed cycle and bin stores at the front of properties in the context of a planning application relating to 50 Gough Way.

    Cllr Julie Smith argued that as the proposals included a bin/bike store at the front and a BBQ building at the back this was excessive and said she would vote against.

    Councillors were advised that as the bin/bike store was not attached to the property it could be considered separately from other aspects of the application; and they did consider and vote on it separately to an extension of the main house.

    Cllr John Hipkin argued that a bike store was visually preferable to bikes scattered around the front of a property.

    All councillors discussed was visual appearance. I would have thought the security of bikes; and preserving bikes in good working order by keeping them dry, are also important considerations if planners are to do their bit to promote cycling in Cambridge.

    The majority of Councillors rejected the proposal for the bike parking area / bin store citing visual impact. Cllr Bick abstained and Cllr Hipkin voted to allow the cycle store.

    It was noted the property is to have a double garage and one councillor suggested bike and bin storage could be designed within this space.

    I don’t know enough about this particular proposal, but I do think we need to elect councillors who put more emphasis on allowing people to make their homes in to practical places to live and not always allowing aesthetics to take precedence.

  5. anadapter

    I remain a bit puzzled by this. On the one hand I could see a good case for the garage being used since it’s a double one but on the other hand, it’d be good to know if those without the space for double garages could be encouraged, where possible and where they want such things, to have them. I nearly asked. I’d be concerned that decisions like this may put a few people off.

    1. Richard Taylor Article author

      My proposal is to encourage such things by removing the need for planning permission for them, within certain criteria. We need to elect councillors who’re willing to do something imaginative like this.

      Our current councillors though like to increase bureaucracy and increase their power over residents – primarily though extending conservation areas.

  6. Richard Taylor Article author

    Cambridgeshire County Councillor Amanda Taylor has described planners preventing people building bike sheds in-front of their houses “crazy”:

    Cllr Taylor was a member of Cambridge City Council, the planning authority responsible for planning policy, and individual decisions, relating to bike parking in Cambridge from 1994-2012.

    Representatives often have their flashes of common sense and inspiration after leaving positions of power rather than when they are in a position to act.

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