Agenda and minutes
Venue: Committee Room (Area East) - Churchfield. View directions
Contact: Kelly Wheeler, Case Services Officer (Support Services) - 01935 462038 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minutes of Previous Meeting
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 9th January 2019.
At the start of the meeting, the Chairman advised that the meeting would be recorded. Councillor Mike Beech requested permission from the Chairman to also record the meeting. The Chairman advised that the Legal Specialist / Monitoring Officer would be preparing a statement to clarify this.
The minutes of the previous meeting held on Wednesday 9th January 2019, copies of which were circulated, were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
Apologies for absence
There were no apologies of absence received.
Declarations of Interest
In accordance with the Council’s current Code of Conduct (as amended 26 February 2015), which includes all the provisions relating to Disclosable Pecuniary Interests (DPI), personal and prejudicial interests, Members are asked to declare any DPI and also any personal interests (and whether or not such personal interests are also “prejudicial”) in relation to any matter on the Agenda for this meeting.
Members are reminded that they need to declare the fact that they are also a member of a County, Town or Parish Council as a Personal Interest. Where you are also a member of Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council within South Somerset you must declare a prejudicial interest in any business on the agenda where there is a financial benefit or gain or advantage to Somerset County Council and/or a Town or Parish Council which would be at the cost or to the financial disadvantage of South Somerset District Council.
Planning Applications Referred to the Regulation Committee
The following members of this Committee are also members of the Council’s Regulation Committee:
Councillors Tony Capozzoli, Nick Weeks and Colin Winder.
Where planning applications are referred by this Committee to the Regulation Committee for determination, Members of the Regulation Committee can participate and vote on these items at the Area Committee and at Regulation Committee. In these cases the Council’s decision-making process is not complete until the application is determined by the Regulation Committee. Members of the Regulation Committee retain an open mind and will not finalise their position until the Regulation Committee. They will also consider the matter at Regulation Committee as Members of that Committee and not as representatives of the Area Committee.
Councillor Anna Groskop advised that she had an interest in item 8 as she was a director of the South Somerset Community Accessible Transport.
Councillor Anna Groskop, William Wallace and Mike Lewis, members of SCC (Somerset County Council), would only declare an interest in any business on the agenda where there was a financial benefit, gain or advantage to SCC, which would be at the cost, or to the financial disadvantage of SSDC.
Date of Next Meeting
Members are asked to note that the next scheduled meeting of the committee will be at the Council Offices, Churchfield, Wincanton on Wednesday 13th March 2019 at 9.00 am.
Members noted that the date of the next meeting of the Committee would be at the Council Offices, Churchfield, Wincanton on Wednesday 13th March 2019 at 9am.
Public Question Time
There were no questions from members of the public present at the meeting.
The Chairman advised that there had been a Regulation Committee meeting, which he was unfortunately unable to attend. The Vice-Chairman advised that he attended the meeting as a substitute for the Chairman. He explained that at the Regulation Committee meeting, a planning application for a housing development located within a village in Area West had been approved.
Reports from Members
Councillor Tony Capozzoli explained that Yeovilton Parish Council had raised concern over the flooding around Bridghampton. He explained that a letter would soon be sent to the Commodore of RNAS Yeovilton to advise him of the issues of flooding around Bridghampton to seek assistance with trying to alleviate some of these issues.
Councillor Tony Capozzoli also raised his concern that residents were not receiving responses to enquiries in relation to properties within conservation areas. The Chairman advised Councillor Tony Capozzoli that he could raise this concern at his monthly meetings with the planning team and requested that in future, queries such as this were passed to him.
Councillor Anna Groskop requested that Parish Councils be provided with information to explain how enforcement cases are dealt with in South Somerset.
Councillor Mike Lewis that the Planning Policy team had been provided much help on the proposal to dual the A303. He wanted to express his thanks to these officers and explained that the next stage involved a public open day at Haynes Motor Museum. He did explain that he still had some concerns over the construction element of the proposal.
Councillor Hayward Burt explained that the weekly recycling collections were late during the period of snow. He felt that the new collection dates could have been better publicised as recycling was left out on the kerbside for a whole week in some areas. It was suggested that the Parish Councils could have been advised, as they would be better able to pass on the message to residents.
Councillor Henry Hobhouse expressed his thanks to the Streetscene team that gritted the pavements around Castle Cary and Wincanton.
Councillor Mike Beech explained that some members pf the committee were subject to review by the Standards Committee following comments made by them about some council services. He expressed his disappointment over this and hoped that these actions would cease and that an apology would be given. He added that the standards committee and regime was out of date and not fit for purpose.
The Locality Manager presented the report. He explained that this was an annual report, which would normally be considered by members alongside a public transport report. He advised members that in future the report would be referred to members later in the year, at around September or October.
He introduced Mike Rowlands, Operations Manager of South Somerset Community Accessible Transport.
The Operations Manager explained the details within his report as detailed as appendix A in the agenda. Some of these details included;
· there had been some severe financial setbacks, due to a failed lottery funding bid, which resulted in some amendments to the business plan.
· Prices were increased in January 2018 by 40%. He explained that this was large increase, however he added that the customers realised the need for this increase.
· He offered this thanks to local Parish and Town Councils. Adding that out of 25 Town and Parish councils, he received contributions from 15 councils.
· Funding had been secured from the Friends of Verrington Community Hospital.
· He explained that there were different fund raising initiatives planned.
· The Co-op in Wincanton offers contributions to the SSCAT bus. He added that these contributions were being used towards the development of an online booking system.
· Others savings have been made.
· The budget aim for this year was to break even.
· He added that the figures for the number of group and individual journeys, as well as the social car journeys were detailed within the report.
· A contract for King Arthurs School had been terminated which was a disappointing loss in income.
He provided an update on the Department for Transport consultation around the future operation of section 19 and 22 permits. He explained that this was still under review.
In response to questions from members, he advised that drivers of the social cars were volunteer drivers. He also added that he would not be keen to increase any prices further and that necessary rises would be gradual increases.
One member felt that it would be useful to know how much each parish council donated within their ward. The Operations Manager agreed that this information could be provided.
Another member asked whether the number of residents within each parish that use the facility could be provided to the Parish and Town Councils.
Another member pointed out that, wherever possible, members try to secure contributions from major planning applications towards community transport. The Chairman explained that travel plans were being considered, across South Somerset, with Somerset County Council to ensure that travel plans were relevant.
The Locality Manager advised that officers were working alongside SCC to develop travel plans which were possibly more relevant and would seek to ensure contributions for local community transport. He added that this was an area of priority within the Council Plan and that because of this; resource would be allocated to this project.
S106 and CIL contributions were discussed by members.
The Chairman felt that the Parish and Town Councils were doing all they ... view the full minutes text for item 134.
The Chairman welcomed Sergeant Katie Maun. She explained that the area she covered included outer Yeovil and Wincanton.
During her presentation, she made some of the following points;
· The team are focusing on engaging further with the community. Officers will be out and about more, for example on a bike and on foot. She explained that use of mobile phones and laptops would enable officers to work within the community.
· The number of ASB calls in the area were relatively low.
· An additional 100 police officers were being employed to target knife crime, county line crime, drug crime and burglaries.
· She confirmed that Yeovil Police Station would be closed for re-furbishment; however, the staff would remain in Yeovil during the temporary closure of the station.
In response to questions from members, she confirmed that the custody cells would remain in Bridgwater and would not return to Yeovil once the station has been re-furbished. She also advised that she was not aware of any plans to open a station in Wells.
Members agreed that there was a need to retain a presence in Wincanton and hoped that the station in Wincanton would remain.
The Chairman thanked her for attending.
RESOLVED: that members noted her comments.
Members noted the Area East Committee Forward Plan.
Members commented that there was no items for the April agenda. It was suggested that the Citizens Advice South Somerset report could be moved to the April agenda.
Another member hoped to have a broadband update report on the forward plan.
RESOLVED: that members noted the contents of the Area East Forward Plan and the suggested amendments.
Members noted that a planning appeal had been received.
Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications to be determined by Committee.
Application Proposal: Reserved Matters application for the erection of 125 dwellings, open space, highways, car parking, landscaping and ancillary development.
The Specialist Development Control Officer presented his report to Members.He advised that the application was for the reserved matters, following an outline application which was approved following an appeal.
He advised that since the report had been published, he had received further comment from Ansford Parish Council. They had concerns over the proposed materials, design of proposed layout and pointed out that there were no links to existing footways and had concerns over future development on the area of green space within the site.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, the Specialist Development Management Officer provided images to show the submitted plans and photographs of the site. He also provided an image to show the existing footpaths close to the site and the proposed footpaths within the proposed development.
The Specialist Development Management Officer explained that the principle of development had already been agreed at outline planning application stage. He advised members that the majority of the roads within the site would be finished to an adoptable standard and that these had been considered in detail by SCC Highways Department.
He explained that the landscaping scheme was considered to be acceptable and that there were no ecology objections. He noted that there was concern over the lack of footpath links to existing footpaths, however felt that this did not provide a sufficient reason to refuse the application. He explained that this was not included within the masterplan which formed part of the outline application.
A representative of the Parish Council spoke in objection. He advised that there would be three new housing developments built along on this road, which already amounted to 186 homes. Anyone wishing to walk to Ansford and Castle Cary town centre, residents would need to rely on a single sided footpath along Station Road. He had concerns over highway safety, highlighting that many homes would be built in this area. He felt that links should be made to the existing footpaths and felt that is was disappointing that they had been omitted from the application.
The Acting Planning Chairman of Castle Cary addressed members. She explained that the footpath links were fundamental to the neighbourhood plan and hoped that the footpaths would like up with the site which had been designated for a new primary school. She explained that it was unlikely that many tenants would have a car. She advised that the members of the town council would be happy to broach the idea to link the footpaths with the adjoining landowner. She explained that the Parish Council had serious concern over future development on the site. She explained that the layout differed significantly from the outline approval which had been approved.
The applicant addressed the Committee. She advised members that they had delivered many schemes across South Somerset. She explained that the homes would be affordable homes and that once the homes are built; Stonewater ... view the full minutes text for item 139.
Application Proposal: Change of use of an existing timber stable block to a boarding cattery of up for 6 pens.
The Specialist Development Management Officer presented his report to members. He explained that the application was for the change of use of an existing stable block for use as a boarding cattery.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, he provided image to show the location of the site and the proposed parking and cattery building. He also provided plans to show the floor plans and photographs of the site and the access lane to the site.
He explained that the NPPF provided strong support for businesses in rural areas, however there was significant local concern over highway safety.
He advised members that there had been no objection raised from Somerset County Council Highways or from the SSDC Highways Consultant. He also advised that there were no major residential amenity concerns as the development would create little noise and the stable was already in situ.
A representative of the Parish Council addressed the Committee. He offered his thanks to the Planning Officer for including the full Parish Council comments within the report, however pointed out that the Parish Council did not agree with his recommendation.
He explained that on three separate occasions, The Planning Inspectorate had agreed with local residents and agreed that the access was dangerous and dismissed planning appeals. He felt that the highways advice was inconsistent.
He explained that the access was narrow, had grass in the centre of the road and contained a dangerous hump back bridge. He summarised that the Parish Council would normally look to support rural business, but felt that this was in the wrong location.
Members of the public spoke in objection to the application. Their comments included;
· The access lane was a dead-end lane which was in a poor state of repair, which serves as access for 22 houses.
· The lane runs for 780m directly from its junction to the B3153.
· There is an informal traffic protocol adopted by residents which requires that drivers who have not passed the bridge are the ones that should reverse when meeting an oncoming car.
· The lane is already heavily used by tractors, cars, septic tank lorries, delivery lorries and recycling/refuse lorries.
· There are only three passing places; two of these are field entrances.
· There is a blind summit on the lane over a hump-back bridge.
· There have been several accidents on this lane.
· The road is used by pedestrians.
· The private access to the site is only 3.2 meters away from windows of neighbouring properties.
· This is not a small-scale development in the context of its location.
· There could be up to 24 car movements each day made by people dropping off and collecting cats. This does not include vets, deliveries and other visitors.
· Concern that there would be additional cars parked in the paddock, to enable space for visitors to park. This would provide further effect visual amenity for adjoining residents.
· Planning applications over the ... view the full minutes text for item 140.
Application Proposal: Outline application for the erection of a two storey detached dwelling with new vehicular access on Devenish Lane
Prior to the Development Manager presenting his report to the Committee, Councillor Mike Beech, Ward Member, advised that he had hoped that a representative from Stoke Trister Parish Council would be in attendance to express their views. Given that there was no representative from the Parish Council present at the meeting, he proposed that the application be approved.
There was some discussion over the proposal and it was then seconded by another member that this application should be approved as per the officer recommendation.
On being put to the vote, this was carried 8 votes in support with 3 abstentions.
RESOLVED: that planning application 18/02145/OUT be approved as per the officer report, subject to conditions, for the following reason;
01. The proposed development would represent a sustainable form of development that, subject to the approval of reserved matters, would respect the character of the area and cause no demonstrable harm to highway safety in accordance with the aims and objectives of the National Planning Policy Framework and policies SD1, SS1, SS2, EQ2, EQ4, TA5 and TA6 of the South Somerset Local Plan.
Subject to the following:
01. The development hereby permitted shall be carried out in accordance with the following approved plans: 1402/001 received 9th July 2018
Reason: For the avoidance of doubt and in the interests of proper planning.
02. Details of the access, scale, appearance and landscaping (herein after called the "reserved matters") shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the local planning authority before any development begins and the development shall be carried out as approved.
Reason: As required by Section 92(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
03. Application for approval of the reserved matters shall be made to the Local Planning Authority before the expiration of three years from the date of this permission and the development shall begin no later than 3 years from the date of this permission or not later than 2 years from the approval of the last "reserved matters" to be approved.
Reason: As required by Section 92(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
04. Before the development hereby permitted is commenced, foul and surface water drainage details to serve the development, shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and such approved drainage details shall be completed and become fully operational before the development hereby permitted is first brought into use. Following its installation such approved scheme shall be permanently retained and maintained thereafter.
Reason: In the interests of local amenities in accordance with policy EQ2 of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006 - 2028).
01. Please be advised that subsequent full or reserved matters approval by South Somerset District Council will attract a liability payment under the Community Infrastructure Levy. CIL is a mandatory financial charge on development and you ... view the full minutes text for item 141.
Application Proposal: The use of part of the building as residential accommodation for facilities manger (Retrospective)
The Development Management Specialist presented his report to members. He advised members that the application was seeking permanent residential use for part of the clubhouse for use as manager accommodation.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, he provided images to show the building as well as floor plans to show the area which would be used as managers accommodation. He also provided photographs to show the site.
He advised that it was not considered that the site was within a sustainable location. He advised that the applicant had not provided any evidence to support the need for an on-site worker such as financial accounts.
The applicant addressed the Committee. He also advised that he received positive advice from the planning team in 2014, when he detailed his intentions for the land and buildings, prior to his purchase. Following this advice, he felt comfortable with moving onto the land and starting a business. Furthermore, when approving the previous temporary permission, the planning officer agreed that there needed to be a worked living onsite. He advised that he had spent significant amounts of money on improvements to the site.
He referred to a photograph, which he had previously provided and at his request, was shown on the PowerPoint presentation. It contained a copy of a letter from the applicant’s accountant to confirm that the business was profitable. He also explained that he would be unlikely to be able to insure the site and items within the site without him living on the site. He added that it would irresponsible and unsafe for a site owner to be living off-site. He summarised that it was essential that he lived on site.
The agent addressed the Committee. He advised members that he had received no contact from the Planning Officer throughout the duration of this application. He explained that the owners of the site had invested a large sum of money into developing the site. He added that since the owners moved onto the site, planning approval for an additional 60 touring caravan pitches had been gained. He explained that the site was highly successful, very busy and extremely popular. He also referred to the letter from the applicant’s accountant, which confirmed the viability of the business. He added that an on-site presence was essential for emergencies including fire, medical emergencies or drowning. He also added that the Parish Council supported the application.
Councillor Hayward Burt, the Ward Member, felt that the application should be supported. He advised that, in his view, the site met the aims of policy SS2 within the South Somerset Local Plan as the site provided employment and facilities for the local community. He also referred to HG9 of the South Somerset Local Plan. He felt that the application met all 7 points of policy HG9.
Councillor William Wallace, also Ward Member, agreed with the comments made by Councillor Hayward Burt. He further advised that the ... view the full minutes text for item 142.