Agenda and minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 9th June, 2021 1.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Fenland Hall, County Road, March, PE15 8NQ

Contact: Jo Goodrum  Member Services and Governance Officer

No. Item


Appointment of Chairman of the Planning Committee for the Municipal Year 2021 -2022


It was proposed by Councillor Skoulding, seconded by Councillor Mrs French and resolved that Councillor Connor be elected as the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the Municipal Year.





Appointment of the Vice Chairman of the Planning Committee for the Municipal Year 2021 -2022


It was proposed by Councillor Connor, seconded by Councillor Skoulding and resolved that Councillor Mrs Davis be elected as the Vice Chairman of the Planning Committee for the Municipal Year.


Previous Minutes pdf icon PDF 546 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes from the previous meetings of 31 March 2021, 21 April 2021 and 5 May 2021.


The minutes of the meetings of 31 March, 21 April and 5 May were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.


Land North Of The Green And North Of 145-159, Wisbech Road, March.Reserved Matters application relating to detailed matters of appearance, landscaping, layout & scale pursuant to outline permission F/YR17/1127/O to erect 118 x dwellings (2-storey - 50 x 2-bed, 50 x 3-bed, 18 x 4-bed) involving demolition of 147a Wisbech Road pdf icon PDF 4 MB

To determine the application.

Additional documents:


David Rowen presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Mr Wells, the Agent.


Mr Wells stated that he welcomes the officer’s recommendation for approval of the application, and thanked the officer for his professional and proactive approach to the proposal. He made the point that the urgent need for affordable housing has been set out in both reports and the proposal sets out to deliver a significant contribution to meeting the requirements.


Mr Wells stated that the proposal also represents the delivery of houses which could potentially satisfy 20% of the 589 dwellings identified as being required in the March area and 62% of the 191 families identified as already being in March, but who are on the waiting list. He stated that the application is for the reserved matters approval for the detail concerning scale, layout, appearance, and landscape only and the officers report provides a clear explanation of the proposals and has concluded that they are acceptable.


Mr Wells stated that the principle of developing the site for 118 dwellings was agreed when outline planning permission was granted, and at that time other matters were considered. He added that detailed technical provisions such as drainage are subject to conditions on the outline planning permission and the applicant has submitted separate applications to discharge those conditions required to be agreed in tandem with the reserved matters application.


Mr Wells stated that the other details with regard to drainage, highways layout, biodiversity, archaeological information and trees and hedges have been worked on with the case officer and the statutory consultees and agreement has been reached on all matters and if approved today then all conditions can be discharged. He added that the developer is seeking to commence development at the earliest opportunity and the applicant is happy to work with the Council and the relevant bodies to ensure this can happen.


Mr Wells stated that members will be aware that viability is a key issue for delivery of development and he expressed the view that members will also recognise and acknowledge that affordable housing cannot always bear the infrastructure contributions which are often otherwise sought from market dwellings. He added that the comments of Cambridgeshire County Council are acknowledged, however, the delivery of affordable housing to significantly breach the supply of housing is a key Government requirement and weight should, therefore, be attributed to the proposal for its high quality development.


Members asked Mr Wells the following questions:

·         Councillor Sutton referred to the officers report,  where it makes reference to the access strips which are in place for maintenance of the ditches and it states that the Internal Drainage Board will be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the easement strips, however, he feels that the statement may not be correct. He added that, in his opinion, the area does not comes under the March West and Whitemoor Internal Drainage Board (IDB) remit and he asked Mr Wells whether  ...  view the full minutes text for item P4/21


Land North East Of Tudor Lodge And Sunset, Station Road, Wisbech St Mary
Erect a dwelling (outline application with all matters reserved) pdf icon PDF 872 KB

To determine the application.

Additional documents:


Alison Hoffman presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Mr Tim Slater, the Agent.


Mr Slater stated that in response to the officer’s comprehensive report he wished to make only 4 brief points; with regard to policy, Wisbech St Mary is identified in the Local Plan as a growth village under LP3 and as such was expected to accommodate significant growth throughout the plan period. He stated that it is noted that LP3 enables new development within the existing urban area or as small village extensions to it and the policy, therefore, is specifically worded to enable peripheral development to the larger villages which acknowledges the lack of sites within the built form.


Mr Slater stated that it is clear that the majority of the growth in Wisbech St Mary since 2014 has been on the edge of the village and he stated that the Planning Officer has addressed LP3 but has concluded that notwithstanding this, the site is more related to the countryside than the village edge and he disagrees with that conclusion as he believes that the sites former use associated with the coal yard gives weight to the relationship to the village rather than agricultural uses beyond. He stated that with regard to overall sustainability, the purpose of the planning system is to secure sustainable development in both policy and determining planning applications and, in his opinion, the site is consistent with the settlement hierarchy and site criteria including the fact that the site is physically close to the centre of the village with the services and facilities and it is much closer to the village centre than the much of the eastern part of the built form of the village itself.


Mr Slater expressed the view that in sustainability and accessibility terms it is in a sustainable location for development contrary to the wording of reason for refusal 2. He added that with regard to flood risk, as is common with many Fenland villages, Wisbech St. Mary is constrained by flood risk issues, however, the application site is in Flood Zone 1 which is the area of lowest risk and as such is sequentially preferable to all sites in higher risk categories.


Mr Slater expressed the opinion that with regard to impact, it is considered that the impact in terms of appearance and residential amenity would be minimal and that the proposal would not cause material harm to the character of the area. He added that there are no technical objections to the proposal and the third reason for refusal in terms of access is not supported by an objection from highways and there are a number of letters of support.


Mr Slater concluded by stating that it is considered that the proposal is similar to the application at Wingfield that was granted by the Planning Committee at their November meeting, and it is consistent with LP3 and is in a sustainable and accessible location.  ...  view the full minutes text for item P5/21


Land North Of, 39 March Road, Rings End
Erect a 2-storey 3-bed dwelling involving demolition of outbuilding pdf icon PDF 418 KB

To determine the application.


Alison Hoffman presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Shanna Jackson, the Agent.


Mrs Jackson stated that the application seeks full planning permission for the construction of a 2-storey 3-bed dwelling, involving the demolition of the existing outbuilding, at land north of 39 MarchRoad, RingsEnd. She added that members will be familiar with this site as an application for a new dwelling on the land wasconsidered bythe PlanningCommittee lastSeptember and at that time it wasresolved to refusethe applicationas it was considered that the design of the development was not appropriate to the adjoining terraceor to the street scene with particular reference to the prominent location of the site and due to there being insufficient garden space.


Mrs Jackson made the point that the message taken from the Committeedebate was that members considered that the site was capable of accommodating a dwelling andadvised the agent toliaise directlywith officers tocome upwith asolution. She added that having taken note of the advice, she has worked very closely with officers prior to the submission to devise a scheme which is acceptable in visual design terms and added that this is acknowledged in thecommittee report.


Mrs Jackson stated that there are now concerns that the private amenity spaceserving both the existing dwelling at number 39 and the proposed dwelling falls below the standardset out in the Local Plan and the space is further compromised by the railway arches which will alsoovershadow the new dwelling. She expressed the view that the submitted drawings demonstrate that there is a reasonable and practical amount of privategarden space around each property to facilitate the outside domestic needs of a dwelling house and theprivate fencedoff garden areafor each plotfalls slightly belowthe onethird requirementas set  out in Policy LP16, however, if the front garden areas were to be taken into account, the garden area  for each plot would exceed the policy requirements.


Mrs Jackson expressed the view that, as with all planning proposals,  there is a balancing act to be had between the issues concerned and the benefits ofproviding a new dwelling which meets the design aspirations of the Council on an unsightly andvacant site, which, in her view, far outweighs the slight under provision of rear private garden space. She stated that the scheme is ofparticular benefitgiven that the siteis in aprominent location and the concern with the potential for overshadowing from the railway arches is disproportionate to the  asserted harm given that the arches are located due east of the proposal.


Mrs Jackson added that only themorning sun within the garden area will be affected and there is sufficient space around the dwellingthat it will not be over dominated by the arches and the new dwelling is located no  ...  view the full minutes text for item P6/21


Land South East Of Seafield Barns, Gull Lane, Leverington.
Erect a 2-storey 4-bed dwelling with garage and 1.4 metre high (approx) post and rail fence and gates pdf icon PDF 862 KB

To determine the application.

Additional documents:


Alison Hoffman presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Shanna Jackson, the Agent.


Mrs Jackson stated that the application is for the erection of a 2-storey 4-bed dwelling with garage,on landsouth eastof SeafieldBarns, GullLane, Leverington and members will be familiar with  thesite and thesurroundings as it has already been accepted by both the Planning Inspector on the adjoining site and by officersthat the location is one which is adjacent to the settlement. She added that in accordance with Policy LP3,the principleof theproposal is acceptable and throughout the application process she has worked closely with officers to ensure that theproposal is of a scale, design and character which is appropriate in its context.


Mrs Jackson stated that the committeereport infront of membersconfirms thatthere areno concernsin this regard andthat mattersrelating toresidential amenityand highwaysare also acceptable. She stated that theonly issuewith theproposal is thatconcerns havebeen raisedin respect of flood risk and added that the sitelies in Flood Zones 1 and 3 and as such there is a requirement that the flood risk sequential andexception tests are passed.


Mrs Jackson stated that it has been confirmed in the committee report that the submissionadequately addresses the exception test and that it is technically safe but the scheme fails on floodrisk grounds as there is another site within the village which benefits from planning permissionwhich could accommodate the proposal. She added that this other site, at Crowsons garage, is, therefore, deemedto be sequentiallypreferable, however, the owner of Crowsons garage is a client of Swann Edwards Architecture and he hasconfirmed that he has no intention of selling the site or developing out his planning permission and hehas recentlyacquired anenvironmental permit tocarry outhis businesson site andrents outpart of the building.


Mrs Jackson stated that this demonstrates his investment is directed to his business and not on makingthe site available for housing, noting also that his permission is due to expire in November this year, with no effortshaving beenmade to implementit, and it is,therefore, reasonableto concludethat thesite is not available for residential development and could not reasonably accommodate the proposalbefore the committee. She explained that with this in mind it is submitted that the Sequential Test is passed and that the schemeis acceptable inflood riskterms and there are no technical issues with the development and it has been accepted by officers on thewhole that the proposal is acceptable.


Mrs Jackson stated that the only concern is a dispute over whether an alternative siteis available to accommodate the development and she added that having spoken to the other landowner andconfirming that his site is not and  ...  view the full minutes text for item P7/21


F/YR15/0877/F, F/YR16/0316/F, F/YR16/0316/F
Phases 2, 2a and 3 of the Bassenhally Farm.
Modification of Planning Obligations attached to planning permissions F/YR15/0877/F, F/YR16/0316/F, F/YR16/0316/F to enable adjustments to triggers and contribution amounts relating to Pre-School Education, Primary Education and Secondary Education pdf icon PDF 130 KB

To consider the variation of the Section 106 obligations.

Additional documents:


Alison Hoffman presented the report to members.


Members asked questions, made comments and received responses as follows:

·         Councillor Sutton stated that he is surprised that a viability assessment has not been brought forward and added that if the applicant can make these payments on this site, why are there viability assessments on other sites and made the point that perhaps further scrutiny needs to take place.


Proposed by Councillor Mrs French, seconded by Councillor Sutton and decided that the application be APPROVED as per the officer’s recommendation.


Land North Of 34, Whitmore Street, Whittlesey
Erect 4 x 3-bed 2-storey dwellings pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To determine the application


This item was withdrawn from the agenda.


Land South Of 20, Primrose Hill, Doddington.
Erect a dwelling (single storey, 3-bed) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To determine the application.


Nick Thrower presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Mr Gowler, the Agent.


Mr Gowler referred members to the presentation screen and explained that the application is for an exception dwelling under NPPF Paragraph 79 home, Part e). He added that the designof thedwelling isunique withinthe Fenlandscape and whilst the report mentions that this dwelling is not in an isolated location as ruled in the ‘Braintreejudgement’, in his view, the courttranscript isnot particularlyclear inclarifying whatis orisn’t classedas isolated.


Mr Gowler expressed the opinion that the ‘Braintree Case’ site as shown on the slide was for a site that was immediatelyoutsidethedevelopmentboundaryforasmallvillage and, therefore, thiswas notdeemed  as an isolated case by either other dwellings, facilities and services within built up area. He stated that thecourt judgement indicated isolated could in circumstances mean isolated from services such asshops andfacilities and this siteis isolatedin thisrespect andapart fromthe fewdwellings along partof PrimroseHill, which hasminimal propertiesaround it,unlike theBraintree casewhich was basedon theimmediate edge ofa village.


Mr Gowler stated that under the report it mentions that the site is in the open countryside under LP3 and, therefore,does not fulfil the requirements of LP3 for a new dwelling and this would also then seem toindicate thatthe dwelling isin anisolated location. He stated that the reason whyit is unique andinnovative is because the design is high thermal mass with large overhanging roof which all maximise solargains and storage of heat in the winter or cooling in the summer, with the site being particularly suitable due to the open land in front to allow Winter, Spring and Autumn solargains and along with the young trees that as they mature will give further shading to helpprevent solar overheating in the summer but without leaves allow the low sun to give solargains inthe winter.


Mr Gowler stated that from sustainable point of view the high insulation standards, car charging, heat pumps and battery storage withsolar panels will be included. He stated that the innovativedesign andlayout are toinclude sustainable elements and will include agreen roof, with the surface water being partially absorbed by the green roof, theexcess will be to a shallow soakaway and the foul drainage will be into a treatment plant with filterdrain, thenitrates fromthis willalso bebeneficial tothe treeson therest ofthe field.


Mr Gowler explained that the proposed costs are likely to be more expensive due to its design and are likely to be 30%-40% more than a normal dwelling, however, due to all of the proposed sustainable measures being introduced, payback of that will be in the region of 20  ...  view the full minutes text for item P10/21


Land North of East View, Ringers Lane, Leverington
Residential development of up to 4 dwellings (application for Permission in Principle) pdf icon PDF 236 KB

To determine the application.


Nick Thrower presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the Public Participation Procedure, from Lydia Pravin, the Agent.


Ms Pravin stated that there she has noted that there are no comments from residents or interested parties and Cambridgeshire County Council Highways Authority accept the principle of a 4-dwelling development in this location. She explained that the site adjoins the built-up part of the settlement of Leverington on the west side of Ringers Lane with housing to the north, south and east and added that it is important to note the housing to the north which forms part of the continuous developed footprint of the settlement stretches along Gorefield Road and due to the development of the houses along Popes Lane which forms a cul-de-sac arrangement this juts out to the north-west with some housing facing directly towards the open countryside.


Ms Pravin stated that the rest of the housing within Popes Lane has rear gardens facing out to the open countryside with hedgerow on the rear boundaries with the dwellings then continuing down along Gorefield Road and to the south of the site the dwelling of East View has hedgerow and fencing on the boundary and there are also dwellings directly opposite the site on the eastern side of Ringers Lane and the dwellings of Knights Close extend further south-east. She explained that the village comprises of a linear pattern of development punctured by infill development in a cul-de-sac style arrangement; the site is well located adjacent to the existing developed footprint of the village and will continue the linear pattern.


Ms Pravin stated that the houses in this location will be in keeping with the core shape and form of the settlement and form an infill development. She explained that the hedgerow could be planted within the site on the western boundary and enable the development to make a positive contribution to the character of the area which consists of housing with hedgerow boundaries.


Ms Pravin stated that Paragraph 8 of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019 confirms a presumption in favour of sustainable development and she added that the proposal will ensure a development that meets the three interdependent dimensions to sustainable development with an economic role, a social role, and an environmental role.  In terms of the economic role the construction of the proposed development will generate employment and post completion the spending of the additional households will increase the spending power of the local economy which will also help support the services and facilities within the village, such as the village pubs.


Ms Pravin explained that in terms of the social role, the proposal will strengthen the village community and help assist the housing needs of the district through providing a windfall development which is invaluable in terms of providing diversity and flexibility to the supply of new properties across the district. She explained that in relation to the environmental role, the proposal will secure well related housing which is appropriate  ...  view the full minutes text for item P11/21