Agenda, decisions and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room (Area East) - Churchfield. View directions

Contact: Democracy Case Officers - 01935 462148  Email: democracy@southsomerset.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

99.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Hayward Burt, Nick Colbert and Colin Winder.

100.

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, Henry Hobhouse, Paul Rowsell, William Wallace 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.

Minutes:

Councillor Sarah Dyke declared a personal interest in Agenda item 8: The Balsam Centre - Allocation of Healthy Living Centre Funding for 2019/20, as she occupied an office at the centre.

101.

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 15 January 2020 at 9.00 am.

Minutes:

Members noted that the next meeting of the Area East Committee would be Wednesday 15th January 2020 at the meeting room, Churchfield, Wincanton, commencing at 9.00am.

102.

Public Question Time

Minutes:

A volunteer at the Castle Cary Railway Station spoke in support of the report proposing a funding contribution to the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership (Agenda item 9).  He mentioned the assistance they provided to passengers and staff, particularly during busy periods like the Glastonbury Festival and how they refreshed the appearances of the stations along the line.  He said the volunteers met 3 times per year with rail executives at GWR to pass on relevant intelligence. 

103.

Chairman Announcements

Minutes:

The Chairman advised that following discussions, it was possible that the Emily Estates would support the Wincanton Town Centre Regeneration Scheme.

104.

Reports from Members

Minutes:

Councillor Tony Capozzoli mention an email which appeared to be sent from the Chairman of Council but was in fact a phishing/scam email which should be deleted by Members.

 

Councillor Michael Lewis asked why there was a delay in compiling the minutes of previous Area Committee meetings.  The Democratic Services Specialist apologised and advised that staff members were currently diverted to General Election work until 12th December and the minutes would be completed as soon as possible after this date.

 

It was also noted that the Elections Specialist was currently unwell and the Committee sent him their best wishes for a swift recovery.

105.

Planning Appeals (for information only) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members noted the planning appeals which had been received, allowed or dismissed by The Planning Inspectorate.

106.

The Balsam Centre - Allocation of Healthy Living Centre Funding for 2019/20 (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Additional documents:

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That the Area East Committee agreed to award the £10,000 ring fenced for Healthy Living Centres which was transferred to Area East from what was the Healthy Living Pooled fund, to the Balsam Centre, Wincanton for the delivery of their work programme.

Reason:

To support the work of the Balsam Centre to improve the voluntary community organisations in the town and villages across Area East.

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

Minutes:

The Locality Manager reminded Members that originally, 3 Healthy Living Centres had been established in 1998 in Yeovil, Chard and Wincanton, but now only the Wincanton Centre remained.  Funding for the centre had been allocated through the Healthy Living Pooled Fund; a budget set up jointly by SSDC, NHS Somerset and SCC, however, as the only eligible organisation remaining, the budget was now transferred and subject to local monitoring by Area East Committee.

 

In response to a question, the Manager of the Balsam Centre advised that there were around 1,000 people who accessed the services provided by the Centre each week.  They also had an outreach service which had between 150 to 250 uses per week.  Most of their visitors came from Wincanton and nearly all walked to the Centre with users from Henstridge, Templecombe and Milborne Port making the second largest user groups.  The Community Access Transport (CAT) bus was a close partner providing transport to the centre.

 

At the conclusion of the debate, the Chairman thanked the Manager of the Balsam Centre for the work they provided to the community.  The recommendation to award the £10,000 ring fenced for Healthy Living Centres to the Balsam Centre, Wincanton for the delivery of their work programme was proposed and seconded and unanimously agreed by Members.

 

RESOLVED:

That the Area East Committee agreed to award the £10,000 ring fenced for Healthy Living Centres which was transferred to Area East from what was the Healthy Living Pooled fund, to the Balsam Centre, Wincanton for the delivery of their work programme.

Reason:

To support the work of the Balsam Centre to improve the voluntary community organisations in the town and villages across Area East.

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

107.

Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership Update (Executive Decision) pdf icon PDF 244 KB

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Area East Committee agreed to:-

 

a.

note the work undertaken by the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership in the last 12 months and the proposed changes to the partnership and that a similar report had been taken to Area South Committee;

 

 

b.

approve a funding contribution of £2,000 to the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership from Area East revenue discretionary projects grants budget for 2019/20;

 

c.

in principle that the Council’s share of the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership Reserve and share of any surplus from the 2019/20 revenue budget is transferred to the new Somerset and Dorset CRP to assist with start-up costs and appointment of a new community rail officer.

Reason:

To note the annual summary of the work undertaken by the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership during the last 12 months and the proposed changes to the structure of the Partnership and to confirm the SSDC partnership contribution for 2019/20.

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

Minutes:

The Specialist for Strategic Planning introduced the report and advised that if SSDC agreed to fund the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership then it would have a place on the new Line Strategy Group.  She said it was hoped to recruit a new Community Rail Officer to help promote the line and area to visitors and the volunteer groups helped to identify and access funding opportunities

 

In response to questions from Members, the Specialist for Strategic Planning advised:

 

·         The Rail Partnership could look at the platform accessibility issues at Bruton Station and may be able to access funding to improve them.

·         There were usually around 40 volunteers who attended the meetings with GWR rail executives, however there were between 90 to 100 volunteers in total.

·         The new owners of The Newt were keen to invest in improvements to the station at Castle Cary (and had been speaking to GWR about this) and had set up a dairy and cheese-making operation adjacent to the station.

 

During a short discussion, Members voiced their support for the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership and the recommendations to support the Partnership were proposed and seconded and unanimously agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

That Area East Committee agreed to:-

 

a.

note the work undertaken by the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership in the last 12 months and the proposed changes to the partnership and that a similar report had been taken to Area South Committee;

 

 

b.

approve a funding contribution of £2,000 to the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership from Area East revenue discretionary projects grants budget for 2019/20;

 

c.

in principle that the Council’s share of the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership Reserve and share of any surplus from the 2019/20 revenue budget is transferred to the new Somerset and Dorset CRP to assist with start-up costs and appointment of a new Community Rail Officer.

Reason:

To note the annual summary of the work undertaken by the Heart of Wessex Rail Partnership during the last 12 months and the proposed changes to the structure of the Partnership and to confirm the SSDC partnership contribution for 2019/20.

(Voting: unanimous in favour)

108.

Churchfields Offices, Disposal - Inclusion of public car park pdf icon PDF 221 KB

Decision:

 

RESOLVED:

That Area East Committee agreed to:-

 

a.

note the options for disposal and the potential benefits of the inclusion of the public car park within the disposal.

 

 

b.

approve the proposal that the public car park land should be included in the Churchfield, Wincanton property disposal.  Marketing to commence in the New Year, with the following provisos:-

 

  1. that the adjacent stable block, including the necessary rights of access be offered for sale as a separate parcel;
  2. that the strip of land to the south of the site be excluded from the sale and this area of grass-crete parking be extended to provide a safe drop-off point for the nearby primary school and additional residential parking.

 

Reason:

To confirm the disposal of the Churchfields offices including the incorporation of the public car park within the sale.

(Voting: 8 in favour, 0 against, 2 abstentions)

Minutes:

The Property and Development Project Manager reminded Members that the District Executive Committee had agreed the disposal of Churchfields offices in March 2018.  During the tender process to select a commercial agent to market the property, each potential agent had asked if the adjacent public car park could be included as it would enhance the saleability of the property.  Points in favour of the disposal included optimising the capital receipt from the sale which would benefit the Wincanton Regeneration Scheme, it would support the local housing supply and visually enhance the area, and, there were potential revenue savings to both SSDC and Wincanton Town Council on maintenance and the car parking compensation scheme.  Points against disposal were the reduced car parking capacity for residents and businesses.  He noted there were a number of green car parking spaces to the south of the site which were not currently well used but could be retained for local residents who did not have a driveway or car parking space.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Property and Development Project Manager advised:-

 

·         There had not been a formal resolution from Wincanton Town Council to agree the sale of the car park in connection with Churchfields but an informal expression that the car park did not benefit the town and provided free parking for the school.

·         There were currently 8 or 9 car parking spaces provided in the grasscrete area to the south and there was space to extend this to 10 or 12 spaces.

·         Including the car park within the sale of Churchfields could increase the asset value by between £250,000 to £350,000.

·         If the car park was sold separately at a later date then the asset value would be less and this could be as much as half the value if there were a 5 year gap.

 

During discussion Members made the following points:-

 

·         If the car park was included in the sale of Churchfields then parents using the car park to drop their children at the nearby school could be compromised.

·         Surprised the Ward Members were not in attendance or had sent any comments.

·         Concern that Wincanton Town Council had not formally commented on the proposal.

·         The car park was hardly used at night and there was a turning circle as a drop off point for the school.

·         The grass-crete parking area should be excluded from the sale and extended to provide a safe drop-off point for the nearby school.

·         The stables should be offered as a separate parcel for sale as they had previously attracted good offers to purchase.

 

At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed that the strip of land to the south of the site be excluded from the sale and this area of grass-crete parking be extended to provide a safe drop-off point for the nearby primary school and additional residential parking.  Members unanimously agreed to this proposal.  It was then proposed that the adjacent stable block, including the necessary rights of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 108.

109.

Area East Committee Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Locality Manager advised that a grant application for Community Accessible Transport would be presented in February 2020.

 

It was also requested that a report on the outcome of planning appeal decisions during 2019 be presented to the Committee in either February or March 2020.

 

Members noted the Area East Committee Forward Plan.

110.

Schedule of Planning Applications to be Determined by Committee pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Minutes:

Members noted the Schedule of Planning Applications to be determined by the Committee.

111.

Planning Application 18/03763/COU - Land at West Farm, West Mudford Road, Mudford pdf icon PDF 365 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: Extension to yard area

 

The Specialist for Development Management introduced the report and outlined the history of the site and the enforcement action taken.  She noted that the haulage business and concrete manufacturing had ceased at the site and the applicants were now applying for an extension to the lawful use gained in 2016 for theuse of land and buildings for general industrial, use of workshop and vehicle haulage contractors use of yard area.  She also noted that the Planning Inspector, in his previous decisions did not consider there were concerns on visual impact subject to landscaping and there were no objection from the Highway Authority or Environment Agency, therefore there were no planning reasons to refuse so her recommendation was to approve the application.

 

The Legal Services Specialist advised that legal proceedings which had commenced relating to the enforcement notice which had previously been served was not a material planning consideration.  Court action had commenced but was adjourned to 20th January as further details were required relating to the site.  The outcome of the planning application may inform the court case.

 

The Committee were then addressed by two local residents who were opposed to the application.  Their comments included:-

 

·         The Planning Inspector’s decision had not been enforced, and who would be responsible for returning the site to its original state?

·         Changes to the river bank had changed the ground levels

·         Could the application be deferred until the previous conditions had been complied with and a vehicle operating time had been agreed?

·         Speaking on behalf of 35 local residents who view this as a cynical by-pass of planning legislation

·         Failure to comply with previous planning refusals has led to Crown Court proceedings and the applicants have been instructed to return the site to as it was when purchased but they have not done so.

 

The Agent for the applicant advised that the objections to the site were a year old as the vehicle haulage business had relocated and the non-agricultural items stored had been removed.  For security reasons it was better to locate storage further back in the site.  The landscaping condition would be complied with and there would be a continued business use at the site. 

 

The applicant said he had done all the Council had asked at the site and relocated the haulage business.  He said he had done all he could to appease local residents and security issues at night had led him to move storage further back which had helped. 

 

In response to comments from the public, the Legal Services Specialist advised that the existing Certificate of Lawfulness allowed one HVG, one lorry with trailer and other associated agricultural vehicle movements per day.  She said if Members were minded to refuse the application then they should have clear policy reasons to do so. 

 

One of the Ward Members, Councillor Tony Capozzoli said the Planning Inspector had refused the application and the site should be returned to its original state.  The applicant had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 111.

112.

Planning Application 19/01996/OUT - Land Adjoining Pilgrims, Weir Lane, Yeovilton pdf icon PDF 411 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: Outline application for the erection of a dwelling with all matters reserved apart from access

 

The Specialist for Development Management introduced the report which proposed a single dwelling on a small agricultural paddock in central Yeovilton.  She said the site was surrounded by residential dwellings and was a short distance from RNAS Yeovilton.  If permission was approved then the hedgerow would need to be realigned to achieve access and visibility.  Her reasons for refusal were because Yeovilton did not meet the requirements for being a rural settlement due to the lack of local services and facilities, as set out within the local plan, with future occupiers being car dependent for their day to day needs. She further clarified that there was no evidence to suggest that Yeovilton should be considered as part of a cluster of settlements alongside Ilchester and Limington. The site was therefore in an unsustainable and inappropriate location for new build development. 

 

A representative of Yeovilton Parish Council said they were in favour of the application provided it was a single storey dwelling.  He said the Parish Council had agreed that they should not be considered a cluster of villages but were 3 separate villages.

 

A nearby resident said she was not objecting to the application provided it was a single storey dwelling as any higher would take away the privacy of neighbouring properties.

 

The Agent for the applicant said the site was in a sustainable location and suitable for infill development.  He noted there were no neighbour or Parish Council objections and he was sure details on the height of the dwelling could be agreed.

 

All of the Ward Members spoke in support of the application.  They said that car sharing and village taxis were becoming more popular, the site was ideal for infill development with a single storey dwelling and it was proposed the application be approved subject to suitable conditions. 

 

During discussion, it was noted that Yeovilton Parish Council had strongly objected to being designated as a cluster of villages in the officer’s report and wished that each village be given its own distinct identity.  Members also felt that a single storey dwelling at the site was acceptable. 

 

The Specialist for Development Management confirmed that if the Committee were minded to approve the application, the applicant could apply for a two storey dwelling as this was only an outline application. 

 

Members requested that an informative be added that the applicant be encouraged to seek pre-application advice with the Local Planning Authority prior to submitting any full or reserved matters application for this development and also to consider a single-storey dwelling on this site in the interests of neighbour amenity.

 

It was proposed and seconded that planning permission be granted subject to conditions on time, reserved matters, approved drawings, noise attenuation, access and external lighting.  On being put to the vote, this was carried by 7 votes in favour, 1 against and 1 abstention.

 

RESOLVED:  That planning application 19/01996/OUT be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 112.

113.

Planning Application 19/02387/FUL - Land Adjoining Keepers, Pyle Lane, Yeovilton pdf icon PDF 443 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal: The erection of new dwelling and garage

 

The Specialist for Development Management advised that the application was for a single storey dwelling in close proximity to RNAS Yeovilton airfield.  The site was adjacent to Grade 2 listed buildings and was currently used as an allotment and informal parking.  Her reasons for proposing refusal were because of sustainability, noise from nearby RNAS Yeovilton, visual amenity and its setting within the context of nearby listed buildings.

 

Councillor Paul Rowsell, one of the Ward Members, said that the Parish Council were opposed to the proposal as they felt it was back land development and very close to the RNAS Yeovilton airfield.

 

Councillor Charlie Hull, also a Ward Member, felt that building close to the proximity of noise zone C of RNAS Yeovilton would set a precedence.

 

The Committee were then addressed by a representative of the Parish Council and 3 local residents in opposition to the development.  Their comments included:-

 

·         The houses on Pyle Lane were all linear and to allow the proposed dwelling would be out of keeping with the setting of the area.

·         Helicopters were stationed directly opposite the site so it was very noisy.

·         The Parish Council were considering drawing up a Neighbourhood Plan to prevent this type of development in the future.

·         The proposal was inappropriate and advice was being sought from the Bath and Wells Diocese on development control in the area.

·         If allowed, it could open up development in other back land sites in the village.

 

The Committee were then addressed by the Agent for the applicant.  He said the site was sustainable as the nearby airbase provided local employment.  He also said there were other properties situated closer to the runway and they would be happy to accept conditions to mitigate the noise.  Any future occupier would be aware of the airfield and some people enjoyed living close by.  The materials would be local natural stone with a slate roof.

 

In response to questions from Members, the Lead Specialist for Development Management advised that Appendix 4 of the Local Plan detailed the noise guidelines for helicopters and aircraft which stated that that new development should be refused within Noise Category C areas.  If Members were minded to approved the application, then he would have to refer it to the Regulation Committee. 

 

During discussion, it was noted that aircraft at RNAS Yeovilton came and went but helicopters were a permanent feature and their noise was usually greater.  It was also noted that the application had been supported by 1 neighbour.  Councillor Tony Capozzoli said that when the Harrier jump jets left the air base, he though the noise contours were to be reviewed and he asked if this could be done.

 

At the conclusion of the debate, it was proposed and seconded to refuse the application in accordance with the officer’s second and third proposed reasons for refusal only (i.e. noise impact and harm to visual amenity/setting of listed buildings) and on being put  ...  view the full minutes text for item 113.

114.

Planning Application 19/02514/HOU - Pond Hill, Pen Selwood, Wincanton pdf icon PDF 394 KB

Minutes:

Application Proposal:Alterations and the erection of single storey rear and side extensions and formation of two dormer windows on west elevation of dwelling

 

The Case Officer for Development Management advised that two single storey extensions were proposed to the north and east and following discussion with the Cranborne Chase AONB a tiled roof was now proposed on one to reduce light pollution.  He said the distance between the proposed extension and the neighbouring property was 26.8m which was considered an acceptable degree ofseparation, to ensure there was no significant overlooking leading toa demonstrable impact on residential amenity. The proposal was therefore considered acceptableand recommended for approval

 

A representative of the Parish Council said they objected to the invasion of privacy of the neighbouring property.  He said the proposed north elevation dormer windows would overlook the neighbouring property which was only 17m distance, and, although obscure glass was offered, this could be changed in the future.  The existing garage created some screening but there would still be overlooking.

 

The Agent for the applicant said they had addressed the light spillage from the extension and offered obscure glazing and fixed windows in the proposed dormers in the interest of their neighbours.

 

The Ward Member, Councillor Robin Bastable, said he had visited the neighbouring property and measured from their conservatory to the boundary which had been 16.5m therefore it was within 20m to the proposed extension which was an unacceptable intrusion.  He also felt that obscure glazing in the dormer windows was pointless.

 

The Lead Specialist for Development Management said that planning guidance stated there should be a distance of 21m between neighbouring windows to ensure privacy.  He referred to a similar application in Wincanton which had been granted permission recently though he said the views in this application were more angled.

 

During discussion, Members felt that by offering obscure glass and fixing the windows in the dormers the proposal was acceptable.  Also, the applicants had addressed the light pollution from one extension as requested by the Cranborne Chase AONB.  The officer’s recommendation to approve the application was proposed and seconded and on being put to the vote, was carried by 6 votes in favour, 1 against and 0 abstentions.

 

RESOLVED:  That planning application 19/02514/HOU be GRANTED planning permission, as per the officer’s recommendation, for the following reason:

 

01.         The proposal, by reason of location, size, scale, materials, design and use does not adversely affectthe character of the Listed building, context ofthe area, visual amenity or residential amenity in accordance with the aims and objectives ofpolices EQ2, EQ3,SD1, TA5 and TA6of the South Somerset Local Plan (2006) and the provisions ofthe National Planning Policy Framework.

 

SUBJECT TOTHE FOLLOWING:

 

01.       The development hereby permitted shall be begun before the expiration ofthree years from the date of this permission.

 

Reason: Toaccord with the provisions of section 91(1) ofthe Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

 

02.       The development hereby permitted shall  ...  view the full minutes text for item 114.