Venue: Via Zoom Conferencing System
Contact: Jo Goodrum Member Services and Governance Officer
To confirm the minutes from the meeting of 16 September 2020.
The minutes of the meeting of the 16 September were confirmed.
To determine the application.
David Rowen presented the report to members.
Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Mr Adam Conchie, the Agent.
Mr Conchie explained that the land was released by Cambridgeshire County Council to provide much needed quality housing and the revenue generated goes back to support education, health and social care within the community. He added that prior to the submission of the planning application, an engagement exercise was held with the community and there have been two pre application meetings held with officers to assist with the design of the scheme and he has continued to work with officers throughout the progress of the application, being proactive in providing information and any further detail which has been requested.
Mr Conchie expressed the view that the scheme will provide 50, much needed homes that will contribute to the District and County Councils housing requirements with them being in a sustainable location and within walking distance of the town centre and train station. He stated that there will be a mixture of 2,3 and 4 bedroomed dwellings, which have been designed to provide a good standard of accommodation for the future occupants and all meet the national minimum space standards, have substantial sized gardens and provide for minimum car parking standards and the development will be landscaped.
Mr Conchie stated that he is aware that objections to the proposal have been raised with regard to flooding, highways, loss of trees and anti-social behaviour, however, the application has been assessed by the relevant stakeholders, including the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), Cambridgeshire County Council Highways, Cambridgeshire Police and the Tree Officer at the Council, who have all confirmed that they are satisfied with the proposed development as it meets all the technical and policy requirements. He acknowledged that it is disappointing that the provision of affordable housing is lacking as part of the development, however in accordance with the adoptable policy of LP13, a viability appraisal has been provided to the County Council and District Council who were both in agreement that the scheme is unable to provide any affordable housing as part of the proposal and in his opinion in accordance with planning policy, the lack of the affordable housing does not justify the refusal of the scheme.
Mr Conchie stated that the scheme is well designed, provides much needed homes in a landscaped setting, meets all the technical requirements and will be a welcome addition to the town of March.
Members asked Mr Conchie the following questions:
· Councillor Mrs French asked Mr Conchie whether a traffic count assessment had taken place.? Mr Conchie stated that a transport assessment had been carried out, which was submitted as part of the application and County Council have assessed this. Councillor Mrs French asked Mr Conchie whether he was aware of the findings of the March Area Transport Study, regarding the Norwood Road area and the amount of road traffic collisions which have taken place over the last 3 years.? ... view the full minutes text for item P43/20
To determine the application.
David Rowen presented the report to members.
Members received a written representation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure from Kirsty Fullarton, read out by David Rowen, Development Manager.
“In my opinion, Wisbech's one distinguishing feature is its Georgian architecture. I believe that failure to recognize and respect its architectural heritage by approving these alterations will further chip away at its identity and contribute to its general decline into a soulless town with high levels of social deprivation. The character of Museum Square, which is currently a paved pedestrian area, will be irreparably altered by the inevitable increase in cars parked in the vicinity of the museum. The only people who benefit from HMOs are the absent landlords who own them. For tenants, the conditions are often crowded, and, during the current Covid pandemic, social distancing will be impossible”.
Members received a written representation in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure from William Wagstaff, read out by David Rowen, Development Manager.
“I write to register my concern that the over thirty comments written by residents and societies have not been addressed in the officer’s recommendation to grant this application. Would the officer confirm for example that the issue of local parking has been taken into consideration when making this decision? Also, I am alarmed that the decision for approval appears to have been made by the officer because there is no better proposal on the table (see last paragraph of Conservation Referral Comments document “It is disappointing that the house is not to be returned to a single dwelling, as it would have brought it closer to its historic appearance and plan form and would have enhanced its significance. However, the alterations now proposed are no more harmful than the current arrangement over all’). It should not be a fait acompli that an absentee developer can buy up Wisbech’s historic property and turn it into a modern-day slum for profit. The planning committee should send out a message that starting now that houses in the conservation area should be retained as good family housing”.
Members received a written representation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure from Marcus Aspden, read out by David Rowen, Development Manager.
“Change of Use
With regards to the change of use application, I feel the HMO will over intensely utilise the current property and the neighbouring areas. What control measures will be put in place to ensure parking facilities are not affected? The application does not provide details for dealing with refuse collections - how will these be controlled? I feel consent should not be granted without details and control measures in place.
The agent, in recent correspondence has stated the alterations and change of use and the works planned will improve the current condition and appearance of the property. As the council are aware, the Owner of a Listed Building has a duty to maintain and keep their property in repair, it should not be left to fall derelict. If necessary, the ... view the full minutes text for item P44/20
To determine the application.
David Rowen presented the report to members:
Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Councillor Alan Gowler of Chatteris Town Council.
Councillor Gowler stated that he is one of the Town Councillors for Slade Lode Ward, in which the proposal site is situated with the location site being very rural and on the edge of the parish boundary between Chatteris and Doddington. He added that he sits on the Chatteris Town Council Planning Committee and when it was discussed at the committee all the members unanimously agreed that it was a good proposal and concluded that it would improve the current dwelling with the applicant being a well-known and respected member of the community. Councillor Gowler referred to LP16 of the Fenland Local Plan which he feels this proposal complies with. He added that the Town Council welcomed the application and would like to see it approved.
Members received a presentation in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Ian Benney who advised the committee that he would be addressing them as an individual and not as a Councillor.
Mr Benney stated that he knows the applicant personally and has done so for many years, but he still has an opinion on the proposal and considers the application to be worthy as he feels that the extension to the property will make a positive contribution to the area. He expressed the opinion that from Doddington Road, the current dwelling looks to be out of place by its lack of scale and mass and added that he does not feel it will be detrimental to the street scene when it is a detached property with no near neighbours and will be set back from an unclassified road between Chatteris and Doddington which once built will blend in and enhance Curf Fen. Mr Benney referred to a newly built block of flats in Chatteris which was deemed to be out of character with other buildings in the area, had nothing in common with anything else in the vicinity and when it was being constructed, he thought it would be overpowering, however, now it has been completed, it sits nicely in the street scene. He stated that the only reason to refuse to application would be under LP16d of the Local Plan but in his view this reason is subjective and he would like to see the application supported and given approval.
Members received a presentation in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Mr Robert Feast, the Applicant.
Mr Feast thanked the committee for giving him the opportunity to address them today and asked them to support his planning application. He explained that for most of my working life he has worked in the construction industry and worked his way up to site manager for large construction companies including Skanska and Langs but in recent years as a self-employed builder, and as well as being in the construction industry for the last 10 years, for 8 months ... view the full minutes text for item P45/20
To consider the appeals report.
David Rowen presented the appeals report to members.
Members asked questions, made comments and received responses in relation to appeal on F/YR19/0499/F as follows:
· Councillor Cornwell asked for clarity of the construction method used, David Rowen explained that the walls of the dwelling were constructed from tyres substantially with a skimmed rendered external finish, with the Inspector concluding that it was an innovative approach used and if it had been proven that it was a safe means of construction then he may have allowed it.
· Councillor Mrs French asked where the site was and David Rowen confirmed that it was in Bar Drove, near Friday Bridge.
The appeals report was noted