Schatunowski Brooks - Shadow Diagrams for Telephone House, Tunbridge Wells
The Shadow Diagrams were taken at face value by TWBC's planning department.
Telephone House Neighbours found the drawings rather misleading.





Loss of daylight and sunlight, overshadowing from new development

The manager of the planning and building control services (Nigel Eveleigh) writes in his report to Western Area Planning Committee 18 October 2000:

The submitted application includes a design statement and a planning statement. This latter document included a daylight and sunlight study for blocks B and D in relation to the existing properties opposite York Road. This included shadow diagrams for different times and months of the year. These show, for example, the ground floor only of the residential properties opposite being partially in shadow at 2pm in March and additional drawings submitted as part of the amended proposals, show a similar situation at 2pm in September.
THNA: - Of course, the setting of the sun would indeed be equal for March and September (EQUINOX)

Considerable concern has been expressed by residents of York Road in relation to overshadowing an loss of light as a result of the blocks fronting the road. The applicant has submitted shadow diagrams to show how the development would affect existing properties at various times. Properties on the north side of York Road currently face south across an open site. Clearly, any development of this site will impact on the sunlight and daylight reaching their properties. However, I am satisfied that the applicants have demonstrated that a refusal of permission on ground of impact on sunlight and daylight would not be warranted. In addition, the issue has been taken into account to some extent in the overall height of buildings and the arrangements and design of roofs.


shadow and tree


The picture on the left was taken in Winter 2001/2002 by Estate Agents Alexandre Boynes for the sale of property 36 York Road.
Presently the trees are smaller than the proposed houses on Telephone House site. Houses opposite the development will be without sunlight during Winter.

The picture on the right like all shadow diagrams of Schatunowski Brooks, filed for the Public Inquiry, are misleading.
Colour codes for the drawings are: Red is the surrounding properties. Blue is the proposed site.
The affordable housing Block D, is illustrated as "surrounding buildings" - it should be blue, as it forms part of the development and affects the loss light of opposite houses in York Road.
Were these drawings correctly intrepreted by TWBC planning department, the developer, and the Inspector for that matter? - We think, not.


In the Statement of Common Ground TWBC agrees to:

11) On the basis of the information supplied by the appellant (in particular their sunlight and daylight consultant - Schatunowski Brooks), the Local Planning Authority are satisfied that the appellants have demonstrated that a refusal on the grounds of impact on sunlight and daylight would not be warranted;
12) The appeal proposals do not justify refusal due to loss of privacy and amenity of local residents.
THNA: - This in in contrast to Western Area Planning Committee refusal 18.10.2000 and Councillors (as part of the Local Planning Authority) were not consulted for the Statement of Common Ground.


Barton Willmore writes in his Proof of Evidence for the Public Inquiry:

6.2.2 In this respect, the sunlight and daylight report prepared by Schatunowski Brooks and submitted with the application, clearly demonstrates that the level of daylight retained at ground floor level within the properties opposite the appeal site would remain very high for a town centre location, and that similarly the level of sunlight exceeds the requirements of the BRE guidelines, and again is extremely good for a town centre location. Thus, whilst 34-38 York Road would suffer a greater degree of overshadowing than they currently experience, the level of sunlight and daylight would still exceed the BRE guidelines, such that the appeal proposals could not be construed as being adversely detrimental to the amenities of the occupants of these properties in this respect. Whilst the initial sunlight and daylight calculations were undertaken on the basis of the spring equinox, subsequent information submitted to the local planning authority by cover of letter of 18th September 2000, demonstrates that the above conclusions remain the same for both the summer solstice and autumn equinox.
THNA: - As said above the setting of the sun would indeed be equal for March and September (EQUINOX), but summer solstice is certainly different to autumn or spring equinox. The real problem factor is not mentioned at all: the Winter solstice, or the situation between autumn and spring, when the sun stands much lower.
At the Public Inquiry Samuel McDowell pointed out to the Inspector: "According to Paul McCreery in his evidence, (page 34, 6.2.1. and 6.2.2), loss of privacy and overshadowing would affect only three houses in York Road, Nos. 34-38, but in fact, eight houses, Nos. 30-44 inclusive, would be affected."

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The Inspector takes over Barton Willmore's errors despite having been made aware of them, (he also received the statement by Samuel McDowell in written form) and writes in his Appeal Decision:

Concern is also expressed by local residents over loss of light and privacy. I note that the sunlight and daylight report prepared by Schatunowski Brooks and submitted with the application clearly demonstrates that the level of daylight retained at ground floor level within the properties opposite the appeal site would remain very high for a town centre location, and that similarly the level of sunlight exceeds the requirements of the BRE guidelines. Thus, whilst Nos. 34-38 York Road would suffer a greater degree of overshadowing than they currently experience, the level of sunlight and daylight would still exceed the BRE guidelines, such that the appeal proposals could not be construed as being adversely detrimental to the amenities of the occupants of these properties.



THNA Will TWBC accept responsibility for loss of daylight and sunlight, overshadowing from new development?

loss of light Shadow Diagram for 21 March 10 am

loss of light Shadow Diagram for 21 March 12 Noon

loss of light Shadow Diagram for 21 March 2 pm

loss of light Shadow Diagram for 21 March 4 pm


loss of light The rights of light and loss of light issue

contents The Telephone House Neighbours Association, Tunbridge Wells
The aims are to heighten peoples' awareness and concern for the development on Telephone House site, Church Road/York Road, Tunbridge Wells.