Agenda and draft minutes

Planning Committee - Wednesday, 1st December, 2021 1.00 pm

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

Contact: Jo Goodrum  Member Services and Governance Officer

Items
No. Item

P60/21

Previous Minutes pdf icon PDF 314 KB

To confirm and sign the minutes from the previous meeting of 27 October 2021.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting of 27 October were confirmed and signed as an accurate record.

P61/21

F/YR21/0597/F
8 The Water Gardens, Wisbech
Erection of a part 2-storey, part single-storey rear extension; installation of air source heat pumps and PV panels to existing building and formation of a footpath access to school field involving piping of dyke pdf icon PDF 710 KB

To determine the application.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

P62/21

F/YR21/0644/RM
Land East of 20 Station Street, Chatteris
Reserved Matters application relating to detailed matters of appearance, landscaping, layout and scale pursuant to outline permission F/YR20/0081/O to erect 2-storey 3-bed dwelling pdf icon PDF 890 KB

To determine the application.

Minutes:

David Rowen presented the report to members.

 

Members asked officers the following questions:

·         Councillor Miscandlon asked officers to clarify how much taller the proposed dwelling is, compared to the existing properties, for officers to conclude that the proposal is overbearing. David Rowen stated that the street scene drawing illustrates the height is consistent with the adjacent properties and the overbearing impact is more one of visual dominance over the properties on Wimpole Street in terms of the mass of building which would be at the bottom of their gardens. He added that with regard to number 20, which is the property closest to the proposal site, the concern is the dominance of the windows which are 2.5 metres away from the new dwelling when looking out of the first-floor windows.

·         Councillor Sutton stated that at the outline stage of the planning application, the applicant and the agent were advised that they needed to reduce the indicative layout to ensure it would comply with policy LP16 of the Local Plan. He added that they appear to have taken heed of that advice and now the current application still does not accord with a positive officer recommendation. David Rowen stated that at the outline stage of the application, issues were highlighted that would need to be addressed and whilst the applicant and agent have made attempts to do that officers are still of the view that there are still issues that should be addressed. Councillor Sutton expressed the view that he finds it confusing in the officer’s report that a suggestion has been made that a single-storey dwelling should be on the site and, in his opinion, he cannot see how a single storey dwelling would fit into the street scene.

·         Councillor Mrs French questioned how much more should the size and scale of the proposed dwelling be reduced before officers deem it acceptable.

·         Nick Harding stated that members need to be aware of the decision notice that accompanied the outline planning application and be mindful that it was an outline application with only access being approved in detail and everything else was a reserved matter and, therefore, officers did not and could not have given detailed pre-application advice effectively on the how exactly the indicative plan should be altered in order to make it acceptable to officers. He added that members need to decide whether the impacts on the adjacent properties are or are not acceptable and whether or not members agree or disagree with the officer’s recommendation.

 

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

·         Councillor Benney stated that he is familiar with the property and it is a large site although it looks a small plot because everything around it is big. He expressed the view that the proposal fits on the plot and it already has outline planning permission and it is not a 2-storey building it is a 1 and a half storey building and a bungalow on the site would not be suitable and  ...  view the full minutes text for item P62/21

P63/21

F/YR21/0734/O
Land Rear of 222 Lynn Road, Wisbech
Erect up to 9 x dwellings involving the demolition of existing buildings (outline application with all matters reserved) pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To determine the application.

Minutes:

This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

P64/21

F/YR21/0833/O
Land South of 19 Blackmill Road,Chatteris
Erect up to 6 x dwellings (outline application with matters committed in respect of access) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To determine the application.

Minutes:

David Rowen 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 terms of the principle of development, Policy LP1 of the Local Plan confirms that there is an overriding presumption in favour of sustainable development, and it is contended that the proposal is both in a sustainable location and is a sustainable form of development. He highlighted that LP3 of the Local Plan identifies the settlement hierarchy, which confirms that Chatteris is an ‘other’ market town and consequently the majority of the district’s new housing should be directed to this and other market towns.

 

Mr Slater added that LP3 states that the focus for the majority of the growth is in, and around the four market towns and stated that the market towns do not have development boundaries and development on the edge of the market towns is still consistent with LP3 and LP4. He said that officers have taken a different approach to the proposal than to the site immediately opposite which was granted permission for 50 dwellings in August 2020 and, in his opinion, the site is very similar to the application site in terms of its spatial relationship to the town.

 

Mr Slater expressed the view that the committee report for the 50 dwellings confirms the fact the site is on the edge of the market town of Chatteris and is considered to be a sustainable location where new growth can be accommodated. He expressed the opinion that in spatial terms the application site is not materially different to the application for the 50 dwellings and, therefore, should be considered as a sustainable location.

 

Mr Slater added that with regard to loss of agricultural land it is understood that the application site has not been in active agricultural use for in excess of ten years. He stated that in terms of character and appearance as the application is only in outline form, matters of scale and appearance, design and landscaping, do not form part of the current submission, but feels that an appropriate design with landscaping could provide a visually appropriate form of development in this location that would mitigate impacts when viewing from the south.

 

Mr Slater stated that in terms of access, the application is supported by a transport assessment which concludes that the site can be adequately accessed from the existing road and byway without causing unacceptable harm to local highway safety or amenity and the applicants disagree with the comments made by the Highway Authority which are detailed in the officer’s report. He requested that planning permission be granted as the applicants feel that the application is sustainable and in a sustainable location.

 

Members asked Mr Slater the following questions:

·         Councillor Benney asked Mr Slater to clarify whether his client would be prepared to undertake any improvement works on the access to the site which is 7 metres at its narrowest width? Mr Slater stated  ...  view the full minutes text for item P64/21

P65/21

F/YR21/1035/O
Land North East Of Horseshoe Lodge, Main Road, Tydd Gote
Erect 1 dwelling (outline application with all matters reserved) pdf icon PDF 444 KB

To determine the application.

 

Minutes:

Nicholas Thrower presented the report to members.

 

Members received a written representation from Samantha Tilney read out by Member Services.

 

Ms Tilney stated as the resident who will arguably be impacted the most by the proposed development, she felt she needed once more to register her opposition to this application and is supported in her objection by the residents of 4 of the 5 properties in this locale who have expressed multiple reasons for opposing the development. She made the point that the one neighbour who did not oppose the application has an informal arrangement for access to the plot with the applicant.

 

Ms Tilney expressed the view of the homes already built here the 3 most recent were conversions of existing agricultural buildings, unlike the building proposed which will be a completely new dwelling in a previously undeveloped position. She feels the rural nature of this area is a very important factor in its desirability and anything which affects this could also affect the value of her property and those of her neighbours.

 

Ms Tilney stated that a main concern for herself and others is that allowing the construction of this property would set a precedent for further dwellings being built in the future, with the position of the proposed residence on the plot suggesting that additional buildings could be built further down the plot later on with no objection from their nearest neighbour which would be the occupant of the proposed dwelling. She expressed the view that access to the plot remains a major issue and the applicant has mentioned tarmacking the entire lane which would change the character of this area, with the lane currently being conservatively managed by the residents.

 

Ms Tilney expressed the opinion that any building work would increase traffic and the degradation of the surface, with the left-hand bend at the bottom of the track also being an issue and extremely difficult for any long wheel-based vehicle including construction vehicles during any building and for maintenance, delivery, and emergency vehicles to negotiate. In her view, a fire engine would not be able to attend the proposed development without damage to the existing track and fauna or damage to the vehicle.

 

Ms Tilney stated that access from the main road would need to be considered as any increase in vehicular activity would increase the risk incurred in turning from a main road into a single-track lane, from which emerging vehicles cannot be seen easily. She made the point that whilst the A1101 road is limited to 40mph, many passing vehicles do not comply with this as those that live in the area witness.

 

Ms Tilney believes that any benefit or improvement of the local community would be negligible and the rural feeling and outlook of the present settlement would be changed forever, with the privacy of her garden in particular being potentially be reduced. She made the point that the exact nature of the proposed building is not clear from the present plans and  ...  view the full minutes text for item P65/21

P66/21

F/YR21/1164/F
17 Thornham Way, Eastrea
Erect a 2.0m (approx) high boundary fence to existing dwelling involving the demolition of existing boundary wall pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To determine the application.

 

Minutes:

David Rowen presented the report to members.

 

Members asked officers the following questions:

·         Councillor Cornwell asked officers to clarify why the advice is to set the fence back from the actual boundary as the rest of the area is open, with officers appearing to be happy from a planning perspective to erect a tall fence but set back from the boundary, and if there is going to be a change why can’t the applicant make full use of their plot? David Rowen stated that the concerns officers have is that by coming out the new fence line is almost to the back edge of the footway, visually encroaches into open frontage and the open character, whereas the proposal now brings the fence out where the wall currently is, but not by a significant degree and not encroaching into the general openness.

·         Councillor Cornwell expressed the view that officers are happy with a complete change of street scene, but do not want the whole plot enclosed and he questioned why only a partial change is being proposed instead of a complete change. David Rowen stated that the officer’s recommendation sets out that this is a compromise by allowing the householder to erect a new fence and to demolish the boundary wall, safeguarding the general open character and not making an unduly significant or harmful incursion into the street scene. Councillor Cornwell stated that it is not a boundary wall, it is an enclosing wall, and the fence appears to be creating a boundary. David Rowen stated that the existing wall is described as a boundary wall, which is technically incorrect, and it also allows a slight expansion of the garden by 1 metre at the maximum. He added that there is a reposition of the screen to the rear garden of the property coming out by 1 metre at the most at one end which officers are happy with.

·         Councillor Sutton stated that the previous application was refused partly on the grounds of visibility both for the road, coming into the drive, and for the pavement visibility splay. He added that the applicant was advised on that issue and they went ahead with the application as it was, which was turned down and now the applicant has come back and taken heed of officer’s advice. David Rowen stated that within the officer’s report it states the reason why the previous application was refused which as well as character there was also encroachment into the visibility splays. He added that there are comments in the report from the Highway Authority raising no issues with regard to that.

 

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

·         Councillor Mrs French stated that the application is for a fence and she cannot understand why the objections relate to nose, light pollution, and traffic.

·         Councillor Sutton stated that although the application is small in real terms, this particular application highlights the value of site visits. He added that other properties near to the application  ...  view the full minutes text for item P66/21

P67/21

F/YR21/1154/PIP
Land North of Telephone Exchange, Main Road, Tydd Gote
Permission in Principle (1no dwelling max) pdf icon PDF 570 KB

To determine the application.

Minutes:

Nicholas Thrower 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 the site provides a conundrum in terms of the purpose of policy and how it could and should be interpreted as it is accepted that the site is identified within Tydd Gote, which is in LP3 as another village, which limits new housing to single dwellings as infill, but questioned the planning balance of what difference does infill make to sustainability? He stated that LP3 is predicated on achieving sustainable growth and the first line of the policy states this and also confirms that development should make the best use of predeveloped land.

 

Mr Slater added that Policy LP14, which relates to flood risk, emphasises the need to direct new development to areas of lower flood risk and the site is accepted by the officer in the report as being within the development footprint of the village, which he agrees with, and it is, therefore, in his view, deemed within the scope of LP3 as a sustainable location for limited new development. He stated that as to whether it is infill or otherwise does not impact on the sustainability of the settlement, however, clearly infill is largely a visual consideration.

 

Mr Slater advised the committee that the site is in Flood Zone 1 and located on previously developed land and both factors are significant plus points having regard to both the development plan and National Planning Policy Framework. He stated that with regards to appearance and character and given the nature of the application for permission in principle, no detail of the final design has been submitted as part of the application and it is contended that a design for the building could be submitted that would be appropriate for the location and not be harmful to character or appearance of the immediate area and for that reason he expressed the opinion that he disagrees with the conclusion in the second reason for refusal.

 

Mr Slater expressed the view that an attractive property on this site would provide a visual gateway to the village enhancing the entrance from the south and there are no technical or neighbour objections and, therefore, the only substantive policy issue with the proposal lies in relation to LP3 and infill and whilst it is not infill as defined in the plan, it is noted that there is a building to the south and a row of homes to the west and as such the site is visually not isolated. He expressed the opinion that in terms of the planning balance, it is contended that the brownfield nature of the site, the fact that it is in Flood Zone 1 and that it is clearly visually related to the village form is sufficient to outweigh LP3’s reference to infill as that does not materially affect the sustainability of the site or the village.

 

Mr Slater added that  ...  view the full minutes text for item P67/21