18/01602/FUL - Former BMI Site, Cumnock Road, Ansford
Decision Maker: Area East Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Application Proposal: Demolition of existing buildings, conversion of and alterations to listed buildings to form 11 No. dwellings, the erection of 70 No. dwellings (total 81 No. dwellings) and associated works, including access and off-site highway works, parking, landscaping, open space, footpath links and drainage infrastructure
The Specialist Planning Officer introduced the application with the assistance of a PowerPoint presentation of images to show the location of the site, the proposed plans and photographs of the site and the access. He advised that the application was two starred and so would be referred to the District Council’s Regulation Committee if the Area Committee were unwilling to accept the recommendation to approve the application.
Since writing his report, a late representation had been received from the Somerset Waste Partnership regarding the bin storage area and following discussion with the applicants, a further bin storage area was now proposed through the imposition of an additional condition. Also, 4 further letters had been received: 3 in objection and one in support of the scheme.
He noted that the Castle Cary and Ansford Neighbourhood Plan had been passed by the Independent Examiner subject to modifications and could then progress to a referendum and become part of the development plan for the area if confirmed by the referendum.
In response to questions from Members, the Specialist Planing Officer confirmed that:-
· 1.6 parking spaces per dwelling and 6 visitor spaces were proposed at the site
· The Council’s tree officer had specified the trees species which would be planted to replace those removed during development.
· Section 106 funding obtained from the development was allocated to a new facility in the immediate area.
The Chairman noted that new planning guidelines were required to ensure that properties were fully insulated and were south facing so that they could benefit from solar energy. The Council’s Climate and Ecology Strategy which was currently being developed could be used to update the Local Plan.
The Chairman, as Ward Member, regretted that Somerset County Highways had said the internal estate roads were not suitable for adoption and would therefore remain private because of the lack of pavements within the site. He also noted that the arrangements for the traffic lights at the entrance to sequence with other traffic lights in Cumnock Road had already been agreed. A large water tank in the middle of the site was not mentioned in the report and the developer should be aware of it.
The other Ward Member, Councillor Kevin Messenger, said the site was hugely strategic and important to the town and the Town Council’s view should be taken into account.
The Committee were then addressed by a member of Castle Cary Town Council and two local residents. Their comments included:-
· Planning permission had already been granted for 650 houses in the town and there was a lack of a Master Plan for the town.
· The roads within the development should be up to an adoptable standard and there was a lack of car parking at the site.
· The old pump house was a listed building and should not be demolished.
· There is no provision for an appropriate boundary to the conservation area.
· An aerial photograph from the 1930’s shows the original boundary walls as 14ft high and would like to see this restored behind the proposed electricity sub- station and bin storage area.
· The proposed car parking spaces of 1.6 per dwelling was inadequate and unrealistic.
· The traffic lights will have to be controlled in tandem to prevent traffic from tailing back into the town.
The Committee were then addressed by the Agent for the applicant. His comments included
· The site was wholly within the town and listed on the brownfield site register.
· It was compliant with the Neighbourhood Plan which specifically asked for re-development of this site before others.
· 81 dwellings was appropriate in a town centre location and the scheme would support leisure contributions
· There were no SCC Highway objections and the SSDC Highway officer agreed the internal loop road.
· To retain the protected trees would drastically reduce the viability of the site
During discussion, Members expressed concern that the roads within the site would not be adopted by the Highway Authority and there was insufficient parking allowed. Concern was also expressed about the density of the housing development, the boundary treatment and the protected trees.
It was proposed and seconded to defer the application for officers to negotiate an amended scheme to address these issues. The Lead Specialist for Planning said that officers would negotiate these issues with the applicant although he cautioned it may affect the viability of the scheme and reduce the S106 contributions and affordable housing element. The Lead Specialist for Planning explained that due to the level of amendment sought by members, it would be unlikely to return to the Committee immediately. He requested, that should the application be deferred, the decision rest with the Lead Specialist for Planning regarding when the application be brought back to Committee. This was agreed by the Area Chair.
At the conclusion of the debate, the proposal to defer was carried by 9 votes in favour, 1 against and 3 abstentions.
RESOLVED: that planning application 18/01602/FUL be deferred forofficers to negotiate an amended scheme to address issues concerning:
1. Highway adoption
2. To increase levels of car parking (incl. visitor)
3. To reduce the density of the development
4. To establish the specific boundary treatments with Beechfield House
5. To seek to retain more protected trees currently proposed to be felled
6. Clarity regarding the new highway infrastructure on Cumnock Road
(Voting: 9 in favour, 1 against, 3 abstentions)
Publication date: 13/06/2019
Date of decision: 12/06/2019
Decided at meeting: 12/06/2019 - Area East Committee