Agenda item

Woadmans Arms, 343 High Road, Newton-In-The-Isle
Erect 4 x dwellings (2-storey 3-bed) and the formation of 3 x new accesses involving the demolition of existing public house

To determine the application.


David Rowen presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the public participation procedure, from Blair Simpson, an objector.


Ms Simpson informed members that she was speaking on behalf of residents on Westfield Road who are against the proposal as they feel the development is over intensification and over development.  She stated that Westfield Road is a quiet cul-de-sac comprising of 14 properties and the residents pride themselves on the small community and take pride in their homes, with the small amount of children who live in the road enjoying the benefit of being able to live in the road and play in a safe and secure manner.


Ms Simpson expressed the view that residents are concerned about the additional entrance for two of the dwellings in the development where access and egress will be from Westfield Road.  She feels the development will cause over-looking to existing properties on Westfield Road and also Fen Road.


Ms Simpson advised members that the applicant has erected a fence and residents are concerned over the maintenance of the boundary fence going forward and made the point that the grass verges have been looked after by residents for the past 15 years.  She referred to a tree in Westfield Road beside number 11, which residents do not want to see removed and, in her opinion, the proposed 25ft gravel driveway will cause additional noise and be intrusive to the residents.


Ms Simpson stated that High Road is a busy road used by the school service to Tydd St Giles School and Peel School and the 46 bus route and residents are concerned about vehicles accessing and leaving the development as there have been accidents in the past.  She feels the issue of extra vehicles in the road and parking is a great concern to residents as well as the extra traffic and deliveries the site will generate, delivery of goods through Westfield Road, will invade resident’s privacy as this will pass directly next to the residents’ front window.


Ms Simpson expressed the view that the applicant has sited a static caravan on the site and is living in it and now appears to be storing a number of 18 tonne lorries on the site as well burning all of his rubbish at the rear of the pub.  She feels that, if permission is granted, then appropriate conditions need to be added which must include delivery times and suitable working hours on site.


Ms Simpson expressed the opinion that, as the current occupier is storing 18 tonne vehicles on the site, there is no reason to grant access via Westfield Road, which would spoil what the residents have worked hard to achieve a safe, comfortable and welcoming area for residents to use.  She feels the proposal for 4 properties does not allow any turning points on the driveways or any parking for visitors, which is going to congest other areas and cause issues for the current residents of Newton-in-the-Isle.


Ms Simpson made the point that all residents brought their houses around Westfield Road as the road was a quiet cul-de-sac and granting access via Westfield Road for either building purposes or to allow permanent access for the new properties with an agricultural covenant would be unfair on the residents of Westfield Road as there is no agricultural land that leads from Westfield Road.  She hoped that members would take into account the objections from the residents of Westfield Road.


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

·         Councillor Sutton stated that he looked at this site on Monday and his initial thoughts were the development is not very pretty, but it does fit, but the more he has read the report the more he has become concerned about highway safety and he re-visited the site on Tuesday.  He expressed the view that whilst the visibility splays look fine on the plan, it is a different matter on site and asked if there had been any site visit by highway officers as the visibility splays presented are not possible and how can members possibly allow this to go ahead when on the ground it is not achievable?  David Rowen referred to the comments of the highways officer in 5.2 of the report, but could not confirm whether they had actually been out to the site in making those comments.  He made the point that there is an access for the public house and there would have been vehicles entering and exiting the site then.  Councillor Sutton expressed the opinion that we should not be satisfied with what was there and should make it better, with 37 metres of the splay going through a neighbouring property’s garden.  David Rowen responded that he is not sure the splays do go through the front garden as there is some overgrowth at the front of that property encroaching into highway land and as far as he was aware the splays could be achieved without going through the front garden.

·         Councillor Mrs Bligh queried whether the access has to come through Westfield Road due to the covenant?  David Rowen advised that there is no proposal from this application to create an access road into Westfield Road.  He stated that there is strip of highway land of around 1-2 metres between the termination of Westfield Road and the application site and the only element of the application that relates to the covenant is that the layout shows an area of hardstanding, which satisfies the covenant within the confines of the application site.


Councillor Mrs Davies informed members that on advice from Nick Harding members could say they are not happy with the highways report and could defer the application.


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

·         Councillor Sutton stated that was to be one of his suggestions as clearly the fence is right near the road and the splays cannot be delivered, so, in his view, it is either deferral or refusal.

·         Councillor Mrs French expressed concern about the highway situation, not about removal or demolishing building, as further along road there is another dwelling that looks like its vegetation is growing over footpath and she is surprised and disappointed with the highway response.  She would be very concerned if the developer tried to use an access for a construction site from Westfield Road, which would be a sacrilege to residents who live in this cul-de-sac and nice area.  Councillor Mrs French made the point that the tree in Westfield Road is very old and she would not want to see this taken down unless it was dangerous. 

·         Councillor Miscandlon referred to the schematic drawing, which he feels is nonsense, and asked why is the developer building a road to nowhere?  He feels the applicant could remove the covenant to redesign the scheme to achieve a better layout and access as there is a highway safety issue with the current proposal, which needs to be addressed.

·         Councillor Mrs Mayor made the point that covenants go back many years and the person who obtained it may no longer be with us and there may be nobody interested in it.  She feels that if highways are going to get involved, this can be sorted out at the same time, with a turning bay provided which would make the lives happier for the residents.  Councillor Mrs Mayor expressed the view that the back gardens of the development where the covenant is should be grassed over to be part of their gardens or a turning bay provided for Plots 3 and 4, but there should be no access to Westfield Road.


Proposed by Councillor Mrs French, seconded by Councillor Mrs Mayor and agreed that the application be DEFERRED for further discussions with Highways and consideration of possible overdevelopment of the site as fewer dwellings could result in vehicles leaving the site in forward gear.


(Councillors Benney, Mrs Bligh, Mrs Davies, Mrs French, Mrs Mayor, Miscandlon, Murphy, and Sutton registered that, in accordance with Paragraph 2 of the Code of Conduct on Planning Matters, they had been lobbied on this application)

Supporting documents: