Agenda item

Land East Of 60, Station Road, Manea
Erect 2 x dwellings (2-storey, 2-bed) and formation of access to 60 Station Road

To determine the application.


Alison Hoffman presented the report to members.


Members received a presentation, in accordance with the public participation procedure, from Ian Gowler, the agent.


Mr Gowler stated that theapplication isfor 2semi-detached,2 beddwellings and explained that, if permission is granted, the dwellings would be constructed for the applicant’s two daughters and althoughthis is nota materialplanning considerationthe applicant is lookingfor somewhereto builda pairof self-buildproperties withinManea. He explained that the site is in Flood Zone 3 and the officer’s report mentions that the site does not pass thesequential test becauseof other similar landbeing availablein alower flood zone.


Mr Gowler stated that currentlythe onlyland withpermission availablefor purchaseis underpermission F/YR19/0970/O and it is being marketed at £200,000 and is also unfortunately susceptible tocontamination due to its previous use. He added that this gives the plot value of £66k per plot with a build costof£120k and would meanthe valuewould needto exceed£186k excluding the contamination     workwhen complete and he stated that a2-bedproperty inManea islikely onlyto beworth £175k and, therefore, in his opinionthis siteis overpricedand inreality, not available,or viable.


Mr Gowler explained that theother sitementioned inthe reportis notbeing marketedand, therefore,not available and that it is proposed that the new properties will have significant rear gardens that can be used tosustainably disposeof the drainagefrom thedevelopment, with these dwellings,albeit behindexisting properties,not havinga significant impact on thestreetsceneof Station Roadany morethan thelarge 3storey propertiesopposite. He stated that properties 58 and 60 are modest single storey bungalows, but all the other nearby properties surrounding the site onStation Roadaretwostorey houses and, therefore,the chaletstyle bungalows are inkeeping withthe twostyles.


Mr Gowler explained that whilst there are currently no ‘backland’ dwellings in this area there are other buildingsextending outthe rear,including thelarge agriculturalbuildings tothe north, and stated that the site is located within walking distance of the local facilities of Manea and close to thedeveloping train station, which adds to the current sustainability aims of Local and NationalPlanning Policyto encourageless carusage. He concluded by stating that the two dwellings will create two small and affordable self-build dwellings in a     sustainablelocation and hoped the Committee arein favourof theproposal.


Members asked Mr Gowler the following questions:

·         Councillor Mrs French stated that she is concerned over the possibility of flooding and asked Mr Gowler how he intends to overcome the issue? Mr Gowler stated that the whole area is at risk of flooding and added that the gardens are very large and there would be enough space to install soakaways or an attenuation system.


Members asked officer’s the following questions:

·         Councillor Mrs French asked officers whether, in their opinion, it is possible to resolve the issue of flooding? Alison Hoffman stated that within the report it states that the Environment Agency withdrew their objection to the original Flood Risk Assessment and a revised Flood Risk Assessment was submitted. She added that the sequential and exception tests are two stranded and the sequential test looks at directing development to the area of lower flood risk and as the proposed site is within Flood Zone 3, it fails on that part and the two component parts of the exception test look at whether the site itself is physically able to accommodate the development without flood risk both on and off the site, which the proposal does satisfy. Alison Hoffman added that the wider issue of the sustainability benefits remains in terms of delivery of the two dwellings on the site and in Flood Risk Assessment terms the scheme demonstrates that the residents would not be at risk of flooding, the proposal is contrary in terms of location of the site, and it fails to address the sustainability aspect. Councillor Mrs French stated that it is the issue of sustainability that she has concerns with.

·         Councillor Murphy stated that the Agent has advised that there are no other parcels of land in Manea for the proposal to be built and asked officers to confirm how much land is available in Manea when considering the five-year land supply?. David Rowen stated that when applying the sequential test, the Supplementary Planning Document adopted by the Council sets out the land that should be considered, it does not identify land which is being marketed and only details extant planning permissions which is sufficient to carry out the sequential test and, therefore, if there are a couple of sites with extant planning permissions which could accommodate a couple of dwellings then they would be sequentially preferable. Councillor Murphy asked whether there is any more land available, and David Rowen stated that Mr Gowler had indicated that there were two sites, one which was not being marketed and another which was being marketed at a high value. Councillor Murphy asked whether there were any other sites available, and David Rowen stated he was not aware of the extant planning permissions, but he would be surprised if there were only two sites available but for the purposes of the sequential test it has been demonstrated that there are other sites with extant planning permission within the settlement and, therefore, the proposal site is not sequentially preferable as a result.

·         Councillor Mrs French stated that she is aware that she has read a document which states that there are 6.92 years of land supply available. She expressed the opinion that the marketed value of the land in Manea is not a material planning consideration.

·         Councillor Connor concurred with the comments made by Councillor Mrs French with regard to the marketed value of the land.

·         Councillor Sutton agreed that the value of the land is not a material planning consideration when determining the application.   


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

·         Councillor Mrs French stated that the Parish Council do not support this proposal and their views must be taken into consideration. She expressed the opinion that the proposal is over development, she has concerns over the issue of flooding and access and she cannot support the application.

·         Councillor Skoulding expressed the opinion that officers have made the correct recommendation.

·         Councillor Sutton stated that in his view the officers have made the correct recommendation and it is consistent with previous planning decisions and he will support the officer’s recommendation.


Proposed by Councillor Mrs French, seconded by Councillor Mrs Mayor and agreed that the application be REFUSED as per the officer’s recommendation.


(Councillors Connor and Mrs Davis declared that the Agent for this application is known to them as he used to be a Doddington Parish Councillor and Councillors Connor and Mrs Davis attend Doddington Parish Council in their positions as elected members of Fenland District Council)

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